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Packaging Coffee Beans In Aluminum Cans Is An Imperfect Answer To A Complex Problem

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Blue Bottle Coffee is starting to pack its coffee beans in aluminum cans with recyclable plastic lids, shifting from PLA packaging. PLA is a compostable polymer made from corn. James Freeman, the brand’s founder, says the cans will be a third more expensive than the compostable paper bag, but the environmental problem of packaging is not simple. For example, coffee bags described as biodegradable might contain a lining that will take years to decompose. Metal, on the other hand, is more easily recycled: the Aluminum Association says most aluminum contains 70 percent of recycled product. Cans aren’t the perfect solution either, but they can at least be recycled whole without having to be first dismantled. [Image Credit: © BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE Inc.]
Esha Chhabra, "Why Blue Bottle Coffee Is Putting Coffee Beans In Cans", Forbes Media, November 30, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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