Danimer Scientific, Inc. and TotalEnergies Corbion have revealed a TUV-certified home compostable coffee pod biopolymer that claims to comply with upcoming EU packaging legislation surrounding biodegradability.

Proposed regulations will mandate that coffee pods, tea bags, very light plastic bags, and sticky labels for fruit and vegetables are manufactured from compostable materials. With Danimer estimating that 550 million pounds of plastic are utilised in the manufacture of single-use coffee pods for the European market every year, the collaboration hopes to provide a more sustainable alternative.

A combination of TotalEnergies Corbion’s Luminy High Heat PLA and Danimer’s Nodax PHA has been incorporated into the solution, which and has reportedly passed biodegradability tests. The pods are now being tested on the market by various European companies, says TotalEnergies Corbion.

“Since beginning our collaborative partnership with TotalEnergies Corbion a couple of years ago, we’ve been working to blend together our respective materials, Nodax and Luminy, to meet the specific functionality needs of our customers for a variety of applications,” said Scott Tuten, chief marketing and sustainability officer of Danimer Scientific. “We support the EU’s proposed new regulations as a necessary first step in addressing the problem of plastic waste, and we’re pleased to be offering our compostable coffee pod biopolymer as one example of how the technology behind bioplastics has evolved to serve the needs of manufacturers, regulators and consumers as the world moves toward a cleaner and more responsible future.”

“We’re excited about the potential of compostable bioplastics to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use petrochemical plastics, and we hope that the coffee pod biopolymer we’ve developed in partnership with Danimer Scientific will be the first of many collaborations to come,” added Thomas Philipon, CEO of TotalEnergies Corbion.

Various companies have sought out more sustainable redesigns for coffee packaging in the last few months, from Nestlé and Huhtamaki unveiling Nespresso’s paper-based, home-compostable pod to Sainsbury’s implementing aluminium into its own-brand pods in a bid to facilitate home recycling.

A recent study has also suggested that coffee pods outperform filter, French press, and instant coffees in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, even though single-use pods contribute to packaging waste.

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