NatureWorks, a manufacturer of low-carbon Ingeo PLA biopolymers, and coffee handler, processor and packager, IMA Coffee, announced that they have entered into a joint strategic partnership aimed at accelerating the market for high-performing K-Cup compatible compostable single-serve coffee pods in North America. Compostable capsules create the opportunity to not only address consumer concerns and divert the packaging away from landfills, but, perhaps more importantly, to recover the used coffee grounds, enabling their processing at a compost facility where they deliver nutrients to the final compost.
Coffee capsules are complex structures where the capsule body, lidding and filter must be precisely designed to deliver a consistently high-quality brewing experience. Before the capsules even reach consumers, it’s critical that these components perform well during assembly and filling as well as on the shelf and during brewing. By bringing together NatureWorks’ materials and applications knowledge with IMA’s machinery expertise, the partnership aims to deliver a turnkey compostable coffee pod solution to the entire coffee industry making it simple to have a great cup of coffee and dispose of the used pod in the most sustainable way possible.
“At NatureWorks, we’ve seen tremendous interest in compostable single-serve pods,” says Flavio Di Marcotullio, global industry manager for NatureWorks. “Brand owners and roasters are responding to both consumer demands for more sustainable packaging and to circular economy directives that specify compostable packaging as a key enabler of recovering food waste for compost. To continue supporting this growth, we saw the opportunity to partner with IMA as they have long helped the single-serve coffee market implement innovative new packaging technologies and have a long-term commitment towards sustainable solutions.”
To give greater impetus to the topic and direct the production chain toward increasing environmental sustainability, in 2019 IMA launched IMA NoP – No Plastic Program. “NOP (No-Plastic Program) means we promote eco-friendly plastic substitutes for the packages manufactured on IMA machines. Through the research and testing of alternative processes and materials, together with our partners, we foster plastic-free and sustainable, compostable packaging solutions. IMA has also established the Open Lab where Material Technologists study, develop and test compostable and recyclable materials to be used on our packaging equipment,” says Nicola Panzani, IMA Coffee sales manager and IMA Coffee Petroncini CEO.
Known for kiwifruit, Maori culture, and spectacular scenery, New Zealand is also home to a new certified home-compostable plastic compostable flexible packaging option for home use for US consumers.
Available at the Compostic website and at Amazon, the company’s compostable cling wrap and resealable bags offer a guilt-free, 100% home-compostable alternative to traditional kitchen plastics. Both product and packaging are zero waste materials.
As well, Compostic's innovative materials offer high-quality elasticity and strength to match the performance and functionality of traditional plastic as a drop-in replacement for eco-minded consumers.
After years of development, Compostic's product line is vegan-friendly, FDA-approved, BPA-free, non-GMO and non-toxic. Unlike common plastics, Compostic's materials break down in a home compost in 12-24 weeks, which is said to be faster than an orange peel.
Compostic was founded in 2018 by Jon Reed as a way to eradicate the need for common, single-use plastics from the home while maintaining the convenience of traditional plastics. "My inspiration behind Compostic began with my realization of the massive threat that plastic has become to our environment," says Reed, founder and CEO. "It soon became my life's mission to find a sustainable solution to the convenience that plastics have within our lives, but that won't stick around polluting our environment for hundreds of years. We’re thrilled to launch Compostic in the US as we continue our mission to eliminate single-use plastics on a global scale. We believe that with Compostic's alternatives, there is no longer an excuse to use toxic plastics."
Key ingredient: Biopolymers.
Compostic's environmentally friendly materials are made from a compound of biopolymers designed to mimic traditional plastics in functionality.
Compostic declined to disclose any further information regarding the biopolymers used.
Debuting in New Zealand, Cling Wrap’s packaging is free from any metal or plastic cutters. Instead, the wrap cleverly uses pre-perforated markings for seamless use. The box is printed with soy-based inks and is recyclable and compostable. The wrap is available in 150 square feet and 250 square feet lengths.
The resealable bags feature an easy-to-use zip to ensure fresh food storage and are available in snack, sandwich, and gallon sizes.
"We understand few consumers are willing to sacrifice quality to purchase the most environmentally friendly option," says Reed. "We look forward to introducing Compostic to US consumers and helping them seamlessly transition to a more sustainable lifestyle."
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