Our Packaging

Equal Exchange is committed to sourcing responsibly. That extends from our ingredients in our products to the packaging we put them in. Packaging is key to maintaining the quality and freshness of products that farmers work hard to grow. Improper packaging can lead to loss of integrity; we use the most environmentally conscious options that meet our standards for keeping coffee, chocolate, tea and fair foods tasting delicious until you take them home. At Equal Exchange, we acknowledge that we're not where we need to be yet, and neither is the wider food sector we're part of. But we're always searching for better packaging options as they become available.

Read this fact sheet to learn which Equal Exchange packages are compostable or recyclable, and how to recycle them. You'll learn which packaging must go in the trash — or be creatively repurposed.


Jump to Packaging Details for:


Chocolate

Chocolate Bars

  • Inner wrappers are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #5 plastic.
  • Outer wrappers are paper. They're recyclable.

Chocolate Minis

  • Inner wrappers are foil and paper combined. They cannot be recycled.
  • Outer wrappers are paper. They're recyclable.

Chocolate Chips

  • Bulk bags are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #2 plastic.
  • Retail bags are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #5 plastic.

Hot Cocoa

  • Body of cans are coated paper and foil. This part of the can cannot be recycled. Seals and bottoms of cans are aluminum. Depending on your municipality, they can be recycled. (But we recommend reusing the whole can instead!)
  • Lids are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #4 plastic.

Coffee

Retail and Bulk coffee

  • Bags are a combination of foil and plastic. They cannot be recycled.

Pillow Packs

  • Packs are plastic. They cannot be recycled.

Single Serve Cups

  • Cups are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #5 plastic. Lids are foil. They're recyclable. Filters are paper. They're compostable.
  • The boxes in which the cups are packaged are paperboard. They are recyclable.

Tea

  • Tea bags are unbleached abaca (a natural fiber). The paper tag is printed with vegetable-based ink and the cotton string is organic. There is no adhesive or metal staple. The entire bag is compostable.
  • Tea envelopes are paper lined with plastic. They cannot be recycled or composted.
  • Tea boxes are paperboard. They are recyclable.

Fair Foods

Olive Oil

  • Bottles are glass. Their caps are metal. Both are recyclable.

Nuts, Mangos, and Grains

  • Individual bags are plastic. They can't be recycled.

Dates

  • Boxes are cardboard. They are recyclable. Inner bags are plastic. They can't be recycled.

Sugar Packets

  • Packets are paper lined with plastic. They cannot be recycled or composted.

Serving supplies

Cups

  • Cups are paper with a corn-based lining. They are compostable in a commercial facility.

Sleeves

  • Sleeves are paper. They are compostable and recyclable.

Lids

  • Lids are plastic. They're recyclable in facilities that accept #6 plastic.

Wood Stirrers

  • Stirrers are birchwood. They are compostable.

Coffee Filters

  • Filters are oxygen-bleached paper. They are compostable.

Tin Tie bags

  • Bags are paper with a biodegradable corn-based liner, printed with water-based ink. They can be composted once the metal tie is removed and thrown away.

Shipping supplies

Boxes

  • Boxes are cardboard. They are recyclable.

Insulation (used to ship chocolate and cheese during hot weather to protect product)

  • Foam is plastic. It is recyclable in facilities that accept #6 foam products.