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Plastic2Beans Zero-Waste Coffee Packaging

by Chloe Gordon on 01/06/2022 | 3 Minute Read

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IMPACT COFFEE is one of the world’s first true zero-waste coffee packaging lines. To achieve this goal, the products combine the latest innovative materials, technology and recycling solutions. 

The manufacturer, the zero-waste company Plastic2Beans, uniquely combines a plastic recycling start-up and specialty coffee brand. Their ambitious goal is to create a nationwide plastic recycling industry in Ethiopia. Plastic2Beans is providing knowledge, materials, and funding to build the country’s first plastic recycling factories, then buys delicious specialty coffee directly from farmers in Ethiopia and brings it to Europe to finance their mission. 

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IMPACT COFFEE uses a twofold system of packaging solutions, each developed to minimize environmental impact. For postal shippment, coffee beans come in lightweight mono-plastic bags. These bags are 100% recyclable in contrast to common pouch packaging that utilizes several inseparable materials. The bags are among the first in the world to be made entirely from a single type of plastic (PP) and make use of the “Holy Grain” technology. An invisible code with technical information about the material and manufacturer that is applied to the packaging and can automatically be identified by recycling facilities. The packaging can then be easily turned into new products instead of being discarded as it still is the case with most plastic waste. For sale in local stores the coffee is available in reusable glass bottles that can be conveniently returned to the German bottle deposit system. With every kilogram of coffee sold, customers can also save up to 12,000 liters of water, 3.4 kg of CO2, as well as additional plastic that is processed in the recycling facilities. 

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At DIO Studios, we developed a compelling design and product name for these unique packaging solutions. The name IMPACT COFFEE loudly communicates the product's positive effect on the environment, as well as the brand's unique mission. The visual design adds an eye-catching element to the package that stands out from other coffee brands and borrows from the vibrant Ethiopian culture while visually embodying the topic of plastic recycling. 

For each coffee variety we designed individual colorful illustrations of Ethiopian landscapes. All products feature a unique motif showing the same landscape at different times of the day. That way, each packaging design visually resembles the individual strength and unique taste of the respective coffee. The illustrations also aim to evoke an emotional and playful interest from the customer and create a connection between the brand and the country of origin of its mission. 

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