Changing the Packaging Industry One Bean at a Time
Our journey towards plastic free coffee
Hi, my name is Victoria and I’m the founder & CEO of Alpaca Coffee. Alpaca Coffee is a plastic free coffee company that delivers right to our customers’ doors.
When I decided to start selling coffee after a trip to South America last year, I knew I wanted to bring delicious coffees to people’s homes. But there was one problem. It quickly became clear through research and talking to coffee packaging manufacturers that the use of plastic packaging to package coffee was still commonplace. Sustainable materials were simply not as accessible and harder to source.
“Global coffee production creates in excess of 23 million tons of waste per year, according to sustainability researcher Gunter Pauli, from the pulp of fresh coffee cherries through to the packaging.” — Daily Coffee News
That’s when I knew there was an opportunity to disrupt the coffee industry in terms of packaging. I decided at that moment that I wanted to run my business differently and help pave the way towards making plastic free packaging the new industry standard. I wanted to create a consumer product that would decrease the global plastic problem, not add to it. And so Alpaca Coffee was born.
After months of searching and negotiating, we finally found plastic free packaging that met our sustainability standards. It was certainly a challenge since most coffee companies by demand opt for the cheaper option — plastic packaging. Eventually, we found an option.
Through persistence, we are happy to say that our packaging is fully compostable — that includes everything from the lining, to the zipper and the valve.
The innovative material that we use for the lining of our coffee bags is called NatureFlex™which is made from wood pulp. The lining and valve are both made from bioplastics, otherwise known as “bio PBS”, a bio-based succinic acid derived from natural substances, such as sugarcane, cassava and corn. The outside of the bag comprises of natural kraft paper.
We also wanted to make sure that our customers were having a better coffee experience not just because of our plastic free bags, but because of the coffee itself. Our first range of single origin, South American coffees span from Brazil, Peru and Colombia. We’re especially proud of our Brazilian beans from the Guima Estate in Brazil as they are grown solely by women passionate about their craft, which empowers female coffee growers to own their own land and coffee businesses.
As for our next step, we are now pre-selling our coffee on Kickstarter. We’ve been surprised by the response so far, and have been selected as one of Kickstarter’s “Projects We Love”. As for our plans after our campaign, our journey will continue as we plan to expand and continue selling plastic free coffee.
And to those of you who may ask, “Why is it called Alpaca Coffee?”. Well, the alpaca is a native animal from South America, plus they are pretty cute — it was a perfect name for us!
So here’s to changing the packaging industry one bean at a time! We hope you can join us on our plastic free coffee journey!