ABERDEEN South & North Kincardine MSP, Maureen Watt, this week praised Caber Coffee’s ‘Bag for Life’ scheme which will see social enterprise company, Glencraft, benefit from the production and sale of 100-200 bags per month for the foreseeable future.
Caber will pay Glencraft £5 for each ‘Bag for Life’ produced which they will then give to their coffee customers as a gesture of good will.
Says a spokesperson: “The coffee beans bags, which cannot be recycled due to their aluminium and plastic content, will be stitched together by staff at Glencraft to form durable and unique ‘Bags for Life’ – an up-cycling idea which stemmed from sixth-year pupils at Portlethen Academy as part of their international links project, ‘Comenius’.
“The project, funded by the British Council, sees the pupils liaise with schools in France and Austria to brainstorm ideas for fundraising initiatives which allow them to afford activities like bowling and cinema trips when they visit each other’s country.”
Findlay Leask, managing director of Caber Coffee, explained: “The pupils had originally made aprons for a fundraising cook-off as part of the project then came up with the idea of making ‘Bags for Life’.
“I was so impressed with the look and quality of the bags that I spoke to Doreen Scotland, who co-ordinates the international links, and Neil Morrison, the head teacher, to see how we could make this scheme benefit the pupils.
“Unfortunately, the project team didn’t have the time or correct equipment to keep producing the bags so we immediately thought of Glencraft. We are absolutely thrilled that we have been able to take this fantastic idea from these sixth-year pupils one step further and allow it to benefit Glencraft too.
“The staff will manufacture the bags on an ad-hoc basis during quiet times in production and complete between 100 – 200 bags each month. The Glencraft logo will be stitched into the bags which we will then pass onto our customers as a gift. All we need is for our customers to keep returning their coffee bags to us!”
Following her visit, Ms Watt said: “I’m delighted to support Caber Coffee’s new up-cycling initiative. This is a fantastic project which is testament to both the innovation of the pupils at Portlethen Academy and Caber Coffee’s continued commitment to supporting social projects in Aberdeen and beyond.
“Not only is the ‘Bag for Life’ scheme environmentally-friendly, preventing the necessity to send used coffee bean bags to landfill, it also puts the fine skills of the craftspeople at Glencraft to good use.
“Everyone involved in making this exciting project happen should be extremely pleased. From its inception in a Portlethen classroom, through its production in Glencraft’s Aberdeen workshop, and finally into the Caber Coffee customers hand, the ‘Bag for Life’ is a fantastic example of local bodies working together for the good of the area.”
Andy Laing, operations manager at Glencraft, added: “We employ around 43 staff members, 36 of which are disabled, visually impaired or have learning difficulties.
“Our staff are very skilled craftspeople who welcome new challenges and, whilst this maybe be different from our core products of beds and mattresses, it shows that we can be bespoke and diverse to produce a high quality product.
“This is a great up-cycling idea involving the local community working together which we are delighted to be a part of.”
Added the spokesperson: “The scheme demonstrates Caber’s continued commitment to social projects following the launch of their Fairtrade charitable ranges earlier this year – ‘ETHYCO’ which benefits social enterprise projects and military retraining charity Mission Motorsport.”
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