When we redesigned our packaging - we landed on a pretty unique solution: a flat, plastic, vacuum-sealed pouch. We recognize this is not a normal way to ship coffee (yet) so we wanted to outline some of the thinking behind this move and share some details on how to recycle where possible.
Sustainability was the main reason for us switching up the packaging - so we definitely checked out a bunch of compostable options. But at the end of the day - the vast majority of the places we ship to don't offer composting for packaging (our local municipal composter does a good job of explaining why here). So while it would look good to say our packaging is "100% compostable" it wouldn't really make much of an impact on real-world materials in landfill.
While plastic is definitely not ideal - it is one of the few materials that solves our need for a moisture barrier to keep your coffee safe in transit. We focused on reducing the total material used as much as possible, and making it as recyclable as possible.
These valveless pouches reduce our plastic use by ~50% per bag vs conventional valved packaging, and since they aren't mixed construction with foil and plastic - they can be recycled with other plastic films.
Plastic recycling isn't as straightforward as the world has been led to believe, but with proper sorting and a bit of effort it is possible. Our pouches are recyclable with other plastic films, which typically aren't accepted curbside.
However, there are many drop locations for single-sort plastic films (often at grocery stores) that you can locate here. Please check with your local recycling authority to find the best way to dispose of your MCC pouches, and recycle wherever possible!
Sustainability is an on-going process, and we're certainly not stopping with these recyclable pouches. We're constantly exploring new packaging technology, and as more biodegradable and compostable options become available, we'll absolutely incorporate them into the club's approach. (Eventually, the goal is for our packaging to be inherently carbon negative and bio-based, though it'll take some time and some trials to get there). We want to make sure our choices aren't simply fashionable, but functionally make a difference. That means being pragmatic about our efforts, and focusing on real-world impacts rather than what's the most marketable "green" solution. For us, without a viable actually compostable option, that means minimizing material and maximizing recyclability.
Beyond packaging, MCC is committed to building a business that's sustainable and allows for quality coffee production to continue well into the future. You can read more about MCC's approach to sustainability (including more details about the packaging) by clicking here.