From the tradition of espresso to breakfast with a cappuccino, there is no doubt that we are talking about a drink that is part of the daily life of millions of people. Every family in the house has at least one tool for preparing coffee, and things are changing. 76% of new purchases concern single-serving coffee machines that work with ground coffee, pods or capsules.
Precisely the latter, however, poses an important problem of sustainability. The materials with which they are produced are not easily recyclable, which is why many companies have launched various initiatives to promote sustainable waste disposal, such as, for example, the opportunity to return the capsules to the store. And on the other hand, what if it were possible to buy and use coffee compatible with single-serving machines without wrappers?
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Coffee, The Sustainable Alternative To Coffee Capsules?
Coffee is a system for enjoying coffee at home that works 100% without aluminum or plastic capsules. Instead of capsules, a ball of a pressed coffee blend is inserted into the machine, coated with a biodegradable, harmless protective film developed by partner company Delica. This protection has a triple function:
- Contain dust;
- Keep the coffee chemically stable;
- Create an oxygen barrier that allows the product not to lose its aroma and flavor.
This protective film is, therefore, the ideal substitute for aluminum, claim the creators of coffee, and its natural origin makes it perfectly compostable. The whole coffee ball included (therefore, both the coffee and the film) can be used as compost precisely because it is rich in mineral salts and, Migros explains, has antiseptic properties. Alternatively, it can be thrown in the wet. A further factor that reduces the impact of pressed coffee balls compared to traditional capsules concerns the quantity of product required to produce an espresso or a long coffee.
The absence of a wrapper and the coffee pressing technique makes it possible to use 40% less product. On the occasion of the public presentation of the project, the CEO of Migros, Fabrice Zumbrunnen, declared: “The simplicity of coffee makes it difficult to imagine how much work was needed to make it happen. From idea to launch, it took five years and many missteps. But the idea of developing a system of waste-free capsules has always been stronger”.
Compostable Coffee Capsules To Eliminate Waste
Using aluminum and plastic capsules generates around 100,000 tons of waste every year. Although there are some recyclable capsules and, as anticipated, some recovery programs by the manufacturing companies, most capsules become waste. To properly dispose of the capsules, it would be necessary to differentiate between the individual components: plastic, aluminum and residual coffee. However, it is an additional commitment for the final consumer, who only sometimes has the time, desire or awareness to do it carefully.
Although it is important to underline this, coffee capsules do not represent a risk to health and the environment. Many consumers are looking for a more sustainable solution to continue enjoying the break with serene coffee. In this context, CoffeeB can represent a profoundly innovative system. The coffee balls can be used, for now, in the coffee machine produced by Migros itself, mainly made of recycled materials and structured in such a way that they can be easily repaired and, therefore, more durable. However, the technology developed could create aluminum or plastic-free capsules that are also compatible with other single-serving machine systems already on the market.
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