Kraft Paper Or Rice Paper: Which Is Suitable For Fine Coffee Packaging

Paper-based packaging is one of the oldest and most popular packaging materials in the world. And now it’s making even higher waves. The world is aware of how plastic packaging affects the environment. Consumers are demanding more sustainable packaging from coffee brands. And companies are placing more emphasis on environmentally friendly alternatives.

Roasters are happy to choose kraft paper to package their roasted coffee. This is because it is low-cost, robust and recyclable.

Kraft paper and rice paper are two common paper-based packaging materials used by coffee roasters. If you are deciding which of these two materials to use for your coffee packaging, please read on.

What is kraft paper?

In the primitive world, where materials were scarce, people have always used paper to wrap their food. There was no alternative. But it was only later that people considered its advantages. This led to the emergence of special paper machines.

Paper machines use steam power to extract and manufacture packaging from wood pulp. Paper packaging became the preferred choice for many companies thanks to its cost-efficiency.

In 1879, the German chemist Carl F. Dahl created the kraft paper process. It is also known as the kraft paper bag used by bakers today. Then came bleaching technology to give kraft paper more colour.

It is important to note that the bleaching process does not make kraft paper any less sustainable.

We use oxygen, ozone or hydrogen peroxide to bleach the paper. This produces fewer toxic and carcinogenic compounds that can harm the environment.

The Market Outlook For Paper-based Packaging

People are becoming more environmentally aware around the world. This can be seen in the plastic ban. More and more countries are implementing it. It is estimated that the demand for paper-based packaging will reach US$ 350 billion by 2030. This means that the global market for paper-based packaging is bigger than ever before.

Kraft paper is not as fragile as it used to be. It can be combined with functional liners. You can also add resealable zips and degassing valves. Such kraft coffee bags preserve the fresh character of the coffee. However, if the lining is not handled properly, it can backfire. This can have the effect of accelerating the deterioration of the coffee.

The roaster now has a choice when it comes to choosing between bleached and unbleached kraft paper. To decide, you need to understand their respective advantages and disadvantages. So that you can balance your business needs with the characteristics of your brand. The right one is the best.

Please read the following comparison. Reading this will help you make the best choice for your coffee business.

Kraft Coffee Bags: Bleached VS Unbleached

In its natural state, kraft paper is brown or yellow. Bleaching makes it whiter and brighter. This process removes the lignin. It gives the paper its tone.

Advantages Of Kraft Coffee Packaging

Kraft paper has natural advantages. Not least because it is recyclable. Kraft papers are flexible and resistant to tearing. They do not consume large amounts of natural resources and hurt the environment. The cost is therefore low.

When unbleached, its light brown colour is favoured by many for its natural appearance. This gives it the advantage of being used as a packaging material.

Many coffee roasters prefer to use rice paper for packaging their coffee. Xuan paper is flexible and strong. However, it is somewhat translucent. When used to wrap coffee, rice paper is usually layered. This increases its strength and protects the coffee.


Kraft paper is relatively weak against water on its own. It, therefore, requires a lining and a coating, such as aluminium. This further protects the coffee from humidity, UV rays and oxidation. However, the lining greatly reduces its recycling potential.

Bleached And Unbleached Kraft Paper: Which Is Better?

The obvious difference between the two is in their appearance.

Some roasters feel that unbleached natural kraft paper looks more environmentally friendly. This is because it has a rustic look and texture. This speaks to the consumer about the sustainable culture of the company. This does appeal to customers who are concerned about recycling.

Bleached kraft paper is perfect for brands that combine environmental friendliness with individuality. It can be printed in any colour and image. This helps your brand stand out.

Adding A Lining To Kraft Paper

In its natural state, bleached and unbleached kraft paper has poor barrier properties. This means that it is susceptible to damage from moisture, heat and UV light. Kraft paper, therefore, needs to be lined with a stronger barrier material. to maintain the quality of the coffee.

A sustainable lining such as polylactic acid (PLA) performs well. It has high tensile strength. It is suitable for coffee packaging. And PLA can withstand temperatures of up to 215 °C (420 °F). In addition, it has good moisture resistance. In a commercial composting environment, PLA will decompose in as little as 90 days.

Make Sure The Paper Packaging You Choose Is Sustainably Sourced

Ideally, the paper must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that the paper comes from responsibly managed forests that meet strict third-party standards. No additional damage is caused. You can add the FSC logo to your packaging. A sign of professionalism and responsibility. Tell your customers that the packaging is sustainably produced.

About Recycling Paper-based Packaging

If used in its natural form, customers can use paper recycling facilities. Both rice paper and kraft paper can be effortlessly biodegraded or recycled. You just need to tell the customer which bin to throw it in. But usually, they have an extra lining and coating to provide protection.

In addition to the extra layers, there are zips and degassing valves. You will need to tell if any seals or degassing valves need to be removed. You can choose a degassing valve and a zip made of compostable material. This eliminates the need for disassembly.

A safer approach is to ask the customer to send back the empty packaging. Many companies do this. They offer discounts or new products in exchange for non-recyclable components. They then uniformly dispose of them.

Working With Coffee Packaging Specialists

Xiaoyupack offers a full range of services, from design to printing. Our team of professional designers is highly experienced. We balance sustainability goals with the ability to preserve roasted coffee. The final coffee packaging is the best of both worlds.

In addition, we still use sustainable inks and glues. You can choose compostable zips and degassing valves for added packaging protection. An all-natural solution or a high-barrier multi-layer option awaits you. We can help you design any volume of the coffee bag.

Are you choosing kraft paper packaging for your brand? Contact us today and we can provide you with FSC-certified branded unbleached or bleached kraft paper packaging with eco-friendly liners and coatings.


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