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How do I dispose of my coffee bag?

  • 250g Packs

Our 250g packs (whilst not yet certified home compostable due to being a relatively new mix of material) will degrade in around 6 months in a well-managed home compost setup (with oxygen, soil, nitrogen, co2, heat, moisture).

  • 1kg and 3kg Packs

Unfortunately, we are not yet able to offer a home compostable 1kg or 3kg option which remains to be LDPE recyclable plastic in waste stream 4. We have ordered 500 units of a home compostable 1kg bags with our first order as a test and if they are strong enough, we will make the switch longer term – keep your eye on our newsletter or social media for updates here.

For the time being, recycle them at your local supermarket or please send them back to us at the Roastery (Unit 10, 280 Tong Road, LS12 3BG) or drop them off at our coffee shop (Unit 32 The Blvd, Leeds LS10 1PZ ) and we will recycle them with First Mile.

What if I don’t have a compost bin?

Currently, only 3 percent of the UK population have a compost bin. We know many of you will not have the space or need to produce compost in your home and some of the bags may still end up in landfills where they will not break down. Ultimately, there is no perfect solution to this problem until we see wider, infrastructural changes with government support but in the meantime help us close the loop by:

1. Sending back your packaging to either our roastery or coffee shop and we will compost it for you with our food waste collections.

  • Roastery address: Unit 10, 280 Tong Road, LS12 3BG
  • Coffee Shop Address: Unit 32 The Blvd, Leeds LS10 1PZ

2. Write to your local MP to appeal for composting collections with your local council. You can use this template here > Letter to MP

3. Get a discounted (by your local council) compost bin and get composting!

Can the bags be re-used?

Our bags still have a zip lock seal and are therefore perfect for reusing – we use them for storing dry goods such as nuts/grains. Our 1kg bags are plastic and are therefore suitable for general food storage and freezing.

What are the myths around composting?

Composting has been going on for generations which has led to many myths, including what you can and can’t add, how difficult it is and if there are specific guidelines to follow. We therefore wanted to debunk some of the common myths but if you have any specific questions you need answering, please don’t hesitate to contact us on hello@northstarroast.com and we’ll try to help where possible!

  • Myth: Composting attracts flies and rats

This is rarely a problem and as the pile decomposes all of these will either leave or be killed. A few flies and rats are part of nature and a compost pile doesn’t breed more.

  • Myth: Compost bins need to be in the sun

Sun speeds up the composting process but it doesn’t require the sun to do its thing.

  • Myth: Compost stinks!

The composting process has almost zero smell. Fresh additions may smell for a couple of days but if you dig it into the pile then you won’t notice the whiff.

  • Myth: You shouldn’t compost meat, cheese and fat

These can all be composted but they may compost at a slower rate and attract animals. A solution may be to bury them in the soil and let them compost there.

  • Myth: Add compost accelerators and starters

Adding extra microbes to get the composting process started is unnecessary as everything you add to the compost pile is covered in microbes anyway. Although you can’t see them, we guarantee they’re there so you don’t need to add more.

What is biodegradeable packaging and how does it work?

Biodegradable packaging can be broken down naturally by microorganisms under certain conditions (temperature, humidity etc). However, this term is rather vague as it doesn’t define the length of time needed for products to decompose. A lot of products will break down naturally (therefore are technically biodegradable), but some may take years to do so.

Similarly, packaging products such as biodegradable plastic bags require specific conditions to break down properly and may produce harmful greenhouse emissions when left to decompose in a landfill. As they break down, they turn into smaller pieces of plastics, which can take some time to dissolve.

Therefore, although the process of decomposing happens naturally, it can still be harmful to the environment.

What is Omnidegradable packaging and how does it work?

Many coffee companies use Omnidegradable® packaging which is the creation of Tekpak Solutions whose mission is to provide environmentally friendly packaging that’s completely pollutant free.

Whilst omnidegradable packaging is compostable, it is only suitable for industrial facilities and, unlike our new packaging, will not break down in your garden compost pile. It is also often the case that omnidegradable packaging is petroleum based, reliant on fossil fuels which are not only finite but also pollute and destruct the local habitats they are extracted from.

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As you might have guessed, it is a real challenge to find a totally perfect solution and also one that strikes the balance between preserving the quality of our beans and environmental responsibility. If you want to read more about the journey we have been on in making this change, check out our blog series.

We are committed to this process of constant improvement and will keep this page updated with news and information on even better solutions as and when they are developed.

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