Biome Bioplastics, a UK-based developer of natural plastics, has helped to develop a biodegradable coffee pod that it says offers one of the first sustainable packaging alternatives in the single-serve market.
The global coffee capsule market is currently worth $6.6bn, with around 50 different pod or capsule system on the market, however, due to the mixed materials used for production, they present a challenge in terms of recyclability.
In response to the perceived challenge, Biome Bioplastics claims to have developed a portfolio of compostable materials for coffee pods based on renewable, natural resources including plant starches and tree by-products. These bioplastics are reported to degrade to “prescribed international standards in composting environments”.
“Single–serve coffee pods are an excellent example of the fundamental role that packaging plays in delivering quality and convenience in the food service sector,” explained Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines. "The challenge is to reduce environmental impact through packaging optimisation without impacting on food quality or safety, or inconveniencing the customer. Bioplastics are an important part of the solution.”
Based on the success of the biodegradable pods, Biome Bioplastics is working with manufacturing and brand partners to develop a number of natural polymer-based solutions for the hot drinks industry, with further announcements expected in the coming months.