Coffee Blog

New Zero Waste Packaging!

Those of you who don’t live in Spartanburg, and maybe even some of you who do, might not know that Little River went Zero Waste about 2 years ago.  Zero Waste is an initiative in which companies or individuals attempt to not send anything to the landfill.  Through composting and recycling, we can reduce our landfill contribution to about 6% of what we currently dispose of.  Did you catch that?  Over 90% of what we throw away every day isn’t actually trash!  So we swapped our one trashcan to three different containers to help customers sort their waste- one container for compost, one for recycling, and one smaller container for the landfill.  We made sure all of our paper products were compostable.  We even swapped those plastic coffee stirrers out for dry noodles.

But now we want to take it one step further.  We don’t want to just be Zero Waste inside our buildings.  We want what we send out of our buildings to be Zero Waste too.  And because of that, we want to introduce you to our new packaging!

Our old packaging was anything but compostable or recyclable.  The foil bags and the tin ties that help fold the bag down all have to go in the trash.  Even the old Kraft bags had lining in them that prevented them from being composted or recycled.  We knew there was a better solution, and now we’ve found it!

We partnered with Rob Tossberg at Plan It Green Printing to come up with a bag that is 100% compostable.  Even the ink we use to stamp the bag is safe for the environment (all ink can be composted, but many inks contain trace amounts of chemicals that can harm the environment over time).  The lining of the new bag is made of corn, and we tie the bag closed with a cotton string.  Before we tie the bag, we fold it over to eliminate as much air as possible from the bag.  This all helps keep your coffee fresh, while being Zero Waste!

To use the new packaging, simply loosen the cotton string until you can slide the string off the bag.  Once you’re ready to close the bag again, fold the bag down to the top of the beans, and pull the string’s loose ends until they are tight.

From the testing we have done in our facility, these bags keep coffee just as fresh as our old foil bags for up to 4 weeks!  Because we roast to order, most orders are less than 12 hours from roast to ship, and almost no orders are more than 72 hours from roast to ship.   That means that you have a full month to enjoy your coffee at its freshest in our brand new bags!  You’ll notice that we’ve also added the Roast Date to your coffee label, so you know exactly when it came out of the roaster.  We promise to always be honest about the date your coffee was roasted.

When your bag is empty, you can throw all of it, including the string, into your compost bin.  We recommend cutting the bag into smaller pieces first for home composters.  If you don’t compost, the bag is recyclable too (although the string would have to go in the trash).  And as for the boxes that we ship in… those are also recyclable, but we’ve had them made to be perfect for reuse as well.  The boxes we ship 3 and 4 pound orders in are made to fit 8.5x11 and legal sized papers, and are very durable- perfect for storage! 

We hope you’ll enjoy our new packaging, and maybe even be inspired by the idea of going Zero Waste.  But if nothing else, you can know that your drinking Little River Coffee now has yet another positive affect on the world around you.  Now that’s good coffee.

Posted in Responsible Coffee


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About Our Blog

Welcome to the Little River Coffee Blog- a chance for us to share with you about all things coffee!  We've divided the blog into four categories so you can learn about every aspect of our beans.

Coffee Adventures: See where we've been, who we've met, and get to know our partner farms. read more >>

Coffee Perspectives: How much do you know about coffee?  Up your coffee knowledge here! read more >>

Responsible Coffee: Find out more about the different types of coffee we offer and how each affects our planet and its people.  read more >>

Gourmet Coffee: Learn the best ways to enjoy your coffee- from brewing tips to new recipes. read more >>

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