bigger than coffee
bigger than coffee
We’re here to rock the world of coffee. Not only are we obsessed with amping up quality, levelling up on flavour and challenging the status quo, we’re also committed to putting our planet first.
Every decision made at Little’s, we make with our planet in mind, which is why we will never take shortcuts and are constantly innovating to minimise our impact on the environment. We’re by no means perfect (hey, who is?), but we’re on a mission to become a more sustainable business and reduce our carbon impact – one little step at a time.
Did you know that our instant coffee jars were the first 100% plastic-free coffee jars on the supermarket shelves? That’s right – it was kind of a big deal. We made the shift back in 2019 to use glass jars and aluminium lids and we haven’t looked back since. Aside from being hassle free to recycle at home, they make banging storage jars for your spices, pens, make-up brushes, you name it.
For our Nespresso-compatible capsules we choose to use aluminium. We’ve learnt a lot about capsule technology over the years and we feel strongly that aluminium is the best solution on the market. Aluminium is the most abundant metal on earth and is infinitely recyclable. In actual fact, 75% of all aluminium produced is still in use today. Not only that, but if recycled, it has the lowest total carbon life cycle of any coffee capsule material. That’s why we made the decision to use this awesome material for our range of Flavoured Nespresso® compatible capsules. Simply place the empty pods in your Podback recycling bag. Find out more about our partnership with Podback, over here.
Ground coffee bags
Our long-term sustainability goal is to become completely carbon neutral. We’ve invested a heck of a lot of time researching low-carbon packaging that doesn’t compromise the quality and freshness of our product. While taking a realistic view on the end-of-life waste management, too. For our flavoured ground coffee packaging, we’ve switched to a single-material recyclable polyethylene (PE) bag (with a very thin layer of something clever called EVOH to keep oxygen out). This is a super common form of plastic that’s used in everyday items such as shampoo and water bottles and can be widely recycled at large supermarket recycling points.
Polyethylene plastic has received a lot of bad press but, as with most potential pollutants, it’s the behaviour of us (the human race) – not the product itself – that leads to environmental damage. It’s very carbon-efficient to manufacture and, as long as it’s recycled properly, it can be melted down and remoulded into another product over and over again – giving it an excellent lifespan! Just recycle the bags properly, people!
We take a lot of pride in our supply chain. The companies and producers that supply the materials and ingredients for our products have been specifically chosen because of their commitment to quality and sustainability. Responsible sourcing steers all our purchasing decisions and, over the next two years, it’s our aim to become carbon neutral and have full traceability of our coffee purchasing.
Here’s some of our biggest wins in responsible sourcing so far:
• In 2022 we moved our coffee capsule manufacturing from Europe to the UK to reduce transportation.
• We have a long-standing relationship with an independent specialist instant coffee manufacturer who is committed to quality, and has a specific manufacturing process which allows us to create a balance between the coffee and the flavour we add.
• Our glass jars are made in Rotherham, UK (which is not in China!) – a historical centre for glass manufacturing.
• Our aluminium lids are manufactured in Huddersfield, UK (which is also not in China!)
• We use a fully traceable speciality grade Honduran coffee for all our flavoured ground and capsules.
• We choose the highest quality and most sustainable flavours for our coffees and always will.
The process of becoming a more sustainable business is a marathon, not a sprint. We realise we can’t change overnight and have therefore set ourselves a three-year goal to work towards significantly reducing our carbon and environmental impact. We’re currently working with FoodSteps (a food lifecycle research agency) to help us measure, reduce and communicate our carbon footprint. By carrying out this research, we will uncover the areas we can improve on and begin to take the steps to becoming carbon neutral.