Close the Loop Group partners with Wipf AG for coffee packing solutions

Close the Loop Group

Australian roasters can now benefit from a new partnership between Wipf AG and Close the Loop Group for coffee packing solutions.

As more consumers are becoming interested in the end-of-life coffee packaging process, more packaging companies, like Close the Loop Group (CtL) Flexible Packaging Division, are committed to finding best solutions for their customers, and the environment.

On examination of traditional coffee packaging practices, Co-Founder and Director Brendan Yee says aluminium foil barriers have been used to maintain freshness. This means using three or more different kinds of materials: polyester, polyethylene (PE), and the aluminium foil itself, for example.

“We have re-engineered the polyethylene to be able to ensure there is heat resistance on the outside while preserving the moisture and oxygen barriers that roasted coffee needs,” he says.

CtL’s coffee packaging is classified as mono-material due to this change. Brendan says the ease in which such packages can be recycled has become the basis of the company’s packaging operations, particularly in coffee.

“Sustainability is one of our key drivers, and has been for a long time,” he says.

CtL was formed in 2021 after a merger between recycling company Close the Loop and packaging business O F Packaging. The group works across a range of industries, which Brendan says provides an advantage in coffee packaging.

“We’ve gained plenty of knowledge on how to make flexible packaging that is more sustainable, and we’re hoping to bring that to the coffee industry,” he says.

CtL has commissioned a new soft plastics recycling plant, taking its commitment to sustainability and recycling to a new level.

“What we see in the traditional coffee market is a lot of conventional, non-mono based materials that cannot be recycled,” he says. “We can manufacture a more recyclable mono-base soft plastic for the coffee market, while our business also recycles soft plastic packaging into other tangible products after use. This mass balance approach can bring additional value to our customers.”

A new partnership with Swiss packaging solution provider Wipf AG has brought forward CtL’s latest offering to the coffee industry.

Wipf has provided one-way degassing valves since the 1970s through its WICOVALVE brand, in addition to supplying high-barrier packaging laminates and pouches for a range of food and pharmaceutical industries in Europe.

Wipf provides degassing valves with recyclable versions for both PE and polypropylene, as well as a certified bio compostable option.

“Close the Loop are proud and excited to partner with Wipf in Australia, as we believe there is great benefit to Australian brands in our centralised domestic sourcing option for coffee valves and packaging,” says Brendan.

CtL will incorporate Wipf’s WICOVALVE degassing valves into its customers’ coffee packaging, giving coffee an added layer of protection from the elements. Brendan says the partnership will help provide streamlined supply opportunities for packaging solutions to the Australian market.

“We’re now able to provide a single point of contact where we can distribute Wipf’s valve technology with our packaging solutions,” says Brendan.

The partnership allows for Australian roasters to connect with two globally operating companies at once, with each providing plenty of expertise.

“Even though we operate in multiple continents around the world, we’re always looking to connect with Australian businesses,” says Brendan.

He says the key to finding the right partner was imperative for CtL, and that Wipf shared similar values that helped facilitate the union.

“In 2022, Wipf were looking to enter the Australian market and wanted a suitable partner. The more we talked, the more we found there was a great synergy between the two businesses,” Brendan says. “Their attention to customer service and providing the best product without compromise lines up well with our beliefs.

“The combined focus of Wipf and CtL on more sustainable outcomes provides great value to coffee roasters and brands, especially with upcoming packaging design mandates on the horizon.”

Wipf Head of Strategic Projects Malte Jonsson adds that the shared commitment to enhance the level of sustainability of the coffee industry has helped form a strong partnership with CtL.

“Wipf builds on sustainability in all areas: ecologically, socially, and economically,” says Malte. “Our business has taken of the challenges in the coffee packaging space, developing a number of more sustainable solutions for different laminates and valves.

“This is our contribution to positive change.”

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This article appears in the February 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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