I would like to start packaging in compostable bags.

 

I can't find any that can be heat sealed, which I need for at least a LITTLE bit of shelf life for the beans.

 

and how do degassing valves work for the compostable process?

 

am I wasting my time trying to find this mystical bag that keeps coffee away from oxygen, degasses, and can break down naturally in our compost piles?

 

 

does anyone use bags without valves? How do customers feel about it in your area?

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What you're looking for is tough, we've been looking for the same thing. Can't find anything close, the problem is that PLA lined bags are considered low barrier they may even be low enough that the degassing valve is irrelevant.
Hmmm. I never considered that.

I've even thought about using mason jars or something glass and installing degassing valves on the lid.

I havent looked into it far enough to talk to health code about sealing jars like that.

Jason Shipley said:
What you're looking for is tough, we've been looking for the same thing. Can't find anything close, the problem is that PLA lined bags are considered low barrier they may even be low enough that the degassing valve is irrelevant.

Sarah,

 

 I live in Georgia so keep that in mind when considering the legality for your operation. However, here in our great state it is totally legal for me to use mason jars for packaging coffee. I use a seal-tight lid on a Kerr jar, as a matter of fact. The coffee is able to degas in the jar with the lid sealed tight. When the jar opens, the CO2 makes a popping sound but that's all. After 24 hours, gas build up is zero concern.

 

 I pickup the used jar when delivering new coffee to the customer and sanitize it in a commercial dish sanitizer, using organic sanitizer fluid. Relableing in necessary about every 3rd use of the jar. So, it isn't completely without waste but the resuasable nature of the package along with the protection the jar provides the coffee from the elements is clutch. Use recycled, compostable papers for labels and organic ink on your stamp and: Voila!

 

 Not to mention, some manual coffee grinders fit perfectly onto the jar. This makes for a great experience for the customer.

TekPak makes a biodegradable/heatsealed bag with valves.  They also have without if you do bulk coffee.
I'm pretty sure Pacific Bags has a compostable vac seal option now. The one thing to consider though, do your customers have access to a commercial compost facility. If not the compostable bag serves no purpose. Even the PLA bags need this sort of facility to break down properly. If you don't have this option, foil bags may be a better option. Generally the are recyclable which means less waste. Although for repeat customers, some sort of reusable container would be the best option. Maybe a branded tin with degassing valve.
guayaki yerba mate company was using something like this. see if you are able to contact them

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