One of the most widely used materials for coffee packaging is Kraft paper.
It is the go-to material for many roasters, both for bags and takeaway cups, because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and adaptable. The market for Kraft paper is currently valued at more than $17 billion, and by 2028, it is expected to increase by another $5 billion.
The fact that natural (or unbleached) Kraft paper is recyclable and compostable is a major factor in this increase. Utilizing Kraft paper by roasters lessens their environmental impact and demonstrates their dedication to a circular economy.
Kraft paper has limited barrier qualities when left untreated, nevertheless. This implies that air and light can get inside, resulting in the coffee losing its unique qualities and turning stale.
Determining to add layers and laminates, such as PET and aluminum foil, is common as a result. And while doing so enhances its barrier qualities, it may also modify how it should be treated after it has been emptied.
Continue reading to learn more about the environmental effects of Kraft paper coffee bags.
Describe Kraft paper.
Since the latter half of the 19th century, Kraft paper packaging has been used. It was created by Carl F. Dahl, and its name, Kraft, means “strength” in German.
Boiling wood chips in sodium sulfide and sodium hydroxide transforms them chemically into wood pulp, which is then used to make Kraft paper.
By holding cellulose fibers together at the microscopic level, lignin, a polymer, is removed from the pulp as a result of this process. As a result, the pulp contains a lot of cellulose, the primary ingredient in paper and a naturally durable structural material.
After the pulp is created, it is screened to eliminate larger particles and then washed to get rid of any remaining liquids. After that, a range of paper products, including Kraft paper, can be manufactured from the resulting pulp.
Kraft paper is now a frequently used material for packaging a variety of commodities. Because of the earthy, natural connections, its light brown color and rough texture are preferred in its original state.
Its eco-friendliness, however, also means that it will become less durable when it comes into touch with water and eventually deteriorate in the presence of heat, sunlight, and humidity.
Is kraft paper sustainable for the environment?
Most Kraft paper comes from wood chips, a renewable resource. However, it is crucial to distinguish between its production and use afterward in order to assess if something is sustainable or not.
Kraft paper is now produced in a way that is significantly more environmentally friendly.
The wood must be cooked in chemicals like sodium sulfide to separate the lignin and cellulose in order to manufacture kraft paper.
Although this procedure produces a number of unpleasant odors, these odors can be controlled by gathering them and burning them in a recovery boiler. As a result, very little sulfur dioxide, an indirect greenhouse gas, is released into the atmosphere.
In the past, chlorine was frequently used to bleach wood pulp, particularly chemical pulps made by the kraft process that generated a large amount of harmful dioxins.
ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) and TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) bleaching procedures have largely replaced elemental chlorine’s use in the delignification process since the 1990s. Dioxin production has consequently drastically decreased.
Historically, the wastewater generated during the production of kraft paper posed a problem for the environment since it released a significant amount of organic material into rivers and lakes.
The toxicity of this organic material has been significantly decreased nowadays because of improvements in the treatment of industrial effluent.
Continuous intentions to lessen the environmental impact of paper production are stated in the Forest Fibre Industry’s 2050 Roadmap.
For instance, efforts are being made to transform wood-based biorefinery complexes into chemical and mechanical pulp mills and to reuse waste water from regenerated fiber-based biorefineries to create insulation or moldable goods.
Paper mills will soon be able to power themselves thanks to plans for waste to go through biomass and waste/residue gasification to become a fuel source.
Kraft paper is one of the world’s easiest materials to recycle when not processed. The majority of the time, you can dispose of it at home along with corrugated cardboard, where it will be picked up and taken to a recycling plant.
Before being sent to a mill, where the recycling process starts, material is sifted here to make sure all impurities and poisons are appropriately removed.
There are several procedures involved in recycling Kraft paper packaging, such as pulping, cleaning, screening, deinking, dispersion, kneading, bleaching, water treatment, and waste processing. New paper products are created after the recycling process is complete.
This can be repeated up to seven times for the majority of Kraft paper products.
The EU pledged to obtain a 74% paper recycling rate by 2020, according to the European Paper Recycling Council Monitoring Report 2020. Despite the fact that Covid-19 made throwaway paper packaging more necessary for hygienic reasons, they still managed to reach 73.9%.
Only when there are multiple layers or if the Kraft paper packaging is tainted with grease, dirt, or food do recycling issues with Kraft paper commonly arise.
For instance, if the interior is made of aluminum, this must first be separated before it can be recycled, and not all facilities are equipped to manage this procedure.
Sending Kraft paper to a composting facility is an option to recycling it. It is entirely organic when left unbleached (or when laminated with other compostable materials, such PLA), as it is formed of long virgin maritime pine fibers.
This indicates that when placed in a commercial composting setting, it will decompose within a few weeks and leave no contaminants behind.
A few years ago, eco-friendly packaging would have been an optional addition in packaging, but things have changed. Sustainability is now a requirement, not just a plus. Coffee drinkers in the modern day have demonstrated that they are more conscious than ever of the effects that coffee consumption has on the environment.
Our unbleached kraft paper coffee bags at Cyan Pak are made from 100% natural materials and are compostable and biodegradable. Their durability and adaptability aid in safeguarding the coffee beans without compromising their quality, guaranteeing that every bag of coffee is delivered to customers in perfect condition.
Polylactic acid (PLA) can also be used to strengthen them, enhancing their barrier capabilities while preserving their compostability.
Post time: Aug-29-2023