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Issue 04/2018

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Capsules
  • Packaging
  • Products
  • Biodegradable
  • Germany
  • Renewable
  • Compostable
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1804

Coffee capsules & pods

Coffee capsules & pods Coffee klatch Aldo Zanetti, Business Unit Manager at Trinseo Single-serve Coffee Capsules and Biodegradable Material – the Perfect Match – an Interview Trinseo, headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA, is a global materials company that has acquired API (Mussolente, Italy), a producer of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics. Trinseo has recently launched new grades of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics for single-serve coffee capsules. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke with Aldo Zanetti, Business Unit Manager at Trinseo. When did Trinseo enter the bioplastics market? In 2006, Trinseo, formerly known as API, launched the first soft biodegradable and compostable material – APINAT BIO ® . In those early days, this was still a novel approach. Still we felt the time had come to add sustainability as a core competence to our already innovative conventional compounds. We protected this biodegradable compound technology with an international patent. How did biodegradable products progress from here? Over the years, we developed biodegradable materials for a variety of different applications. In 2011, conforming to the new Italian regulation, we introduced a biodegradable and compostable film solution to replace polyethylene shopping bags. In 2014, we launched the first biodegradable and compostable compound for single-serve coffee capsules. Additionally, we have developed a unique and wide-ranging spectrum of biodegradable color masterbatches compatible with all of our bio resins. Since the acquisition of API, Trinseo has introduced further innovations and new materials suitable for various applications, particularly in the packaging and agricultural sectors. In your opinion, why should companies use biodegradable material when producing coffee capsules? Global coffee consumption is continuously progessing towards single-serve capsule machines. Every year around 50 billion capsules are sold worldwide. Although single-serve capsules are extremely convenient, they have the downside that the aluminum and plastic create a lot of waste. Single-serve coffee capsules are not easily recyclable and mixed materials such as exhausted coffee powder, plastic and aluminum are sent to a landfill without being separated. The coffee industry urgently needs a more sustainable packaging option. Biodegradable and compostable capsules are, in my opinion, therefore one of the most viable solutions. Why are single serve coffee capsules so suitable assuming they are collected and sent to a composting facility? The combination of coffee powder with biodegradable material constitutes a ‘perfect match’. Coffee powder is organic and is itself a good fertilizer. The brewing process adds temperature and humidity, thereby triggering the biodegradation of the capsule into compost, CO 2 and water. What about other material properties? Can your material compete with conventional plastics? Besides being biodegradable under EN 13432, our new APINAT BIO® grades are derived from 60 to 90 % biobased sources. Our grades fully comply with both U.S. FDA and EU food contact regulations. Our materials exemplify exceptional dimensional stability and easy processability at the manufacturer’s site. They can be processed with cycle times comparable to those of conventional plastics, maintaining a manufacturer’s hourly output at the same levels. The material grades have been successfully tested and approved in all current production technologies such as injection molding, extrusion and extrusion-compression molding. So, yes, we can compete with conventional plastics in the coffee capsule business. Which material properties would you now like to further improve? Our first priority is to enhance the barrier towards water vapor and oxygen, thereby extending capsule shelf-life. This is the area where developments are most concentrated. We are also working on improving our material’s thermal stability for the purpose of extending its use in complex capsules and for higher brewing temperatures and pressures. What about your participation in the EU LIFE- PLA4Coffee project? Because of our extensive knowledge and experience in the development of biodegradable plastic compounds, ICA, 38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/18] Vol. 13

Coffee capsules & pods biopolymere. 6. Kooperationsforum mit Fachausstellung a manufacturer of automatic packaging machinery and coffee capsules (headquartered in Bologna, Italy), selected us as a project partner. The aim of LIFE-PLA4Coffee project was to validate PLA based compound formulations with improved functional properties for the production of compostable coffee capsules. This interesting and productive collaboration has helped us to deepen our knowledge about the specific needs of this sector. How does your experience help customers to decide whether to invest in biodegradable solutions? We have a long and deep knowledge in diverse application fields like packaging, footwear, automotive and technical products. We understand the complexity of many different applications so when customers approach us asking about biodegradable solutions for specific applications, our experience enables us to evaluate the technical feasibility and provide advice on environmental benefits and suitability for each single application. We do not support projects in which the use of biodegradable solutions does not constitute a measurable environmental advantage. In addition we support our customers on legal framework conditions, which can vary depending on country and application. Over the years and through joint developments with customers, combined with our technology expertise, we have expanded our biodegradable compounds portfolio, ranging from low to high rigidity, to meet a wide spectrum of requirements for packaging and agricultural applications. MT www.trinseo.com 18091 werbersbuero.de | Foto: ©artemegorov - stock.adobe.com B a y e r n Innovativ Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Halle Straubing, 24. Oktober 2018 www.bayern-innovativ.de/biopolymere2018 Cluster Neue Werkstoffe bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/18] Vol. 13 39

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