Thai firm partners to make compostable coffee pods

Americans who love their coffee but are concerned about the environment will soon be able to savor a cup of joe from coffee pods that are compostable thanks to a partnership involving a Thai company.

The partnership is between IMA Coffee and NatureWorks, a company jointly owned by Cargill and Thailand’s PTT. NatureWorks is a major manufacturer of biopolymers and the world’s biggest producer of low-carbon Ingeo biopolymers.
IMA Coffee is a market leader in coffee handling, processing and packaging.

Single-serving coffee capsules or pods have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their convenience and the quality of their coffee. But environmentally conscious consumers have been shunning them because of the packaging waste and use of plastics.

The compostable coffee pods made by NatureWorks will not have to end up in landfills, and their remaining coffee grounds will add nutrients to the compost, making it more fertile and useful.

PTT is Thailand’s partially privatized state energy company. It has been investing heavily in researching and developing green and biochemicals and making its production processes more green and sustainable.

“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,” he added.

Coffee capsules are actually complex structures. IMA said the capsule body, lidding, and filter must be precisely designed to deliver a consistently high-quality brewing experience.

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