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Whether used for coffee, tea, or baby food, capsules made from  aluminum or plastic are  now  a must-have in  many households.  To  improve their ecological footprint, Greiner Packaging is currently working on  a solution made from compostable polymer, so that customers can easily recycle used  capsules  on  their own backyard compost heaps. The process of  having the sustainable  packaging  certified by TÜV  AUSTRIA  BELGIUM  nv started  in  February, with completion expected in the fall.

Kremsmünster, Austria (March 2022).  Greiner Packaging has been successfully producing packaging solutions for the booming capsule market  for many years. Coffee capsules are already commonplace in many  offices and  homes, but tea,  cocoa, and  even  baby  food and  various soft drinks are  increasingly being packaged this way, too.

Precise production process

Greiner  Packaging  has an  ultra-precise  production  process in  place  and  uses barrier  technology  to guarantee the perfect taste. This protects the packaged product from external influences such as oxygen penetration, extending its shelf life and ensuring that optimum flavor is retained. Multibarrier technology (MBT) can be used in combination with thermoforming, injection molding, and in-mold labeling.

Disposal in home composters

When  it comes to sustainability,  many  people are  critical  of capsules – but this form of packaging  is more environmentally friendly than  its image might suggest. After all, it provides the  product  with the best possible protection, preventing it from spoiling and  going to waste. The coffee inside the capsule is precisely measured, with one  capsule per  cup  meaning that  the  consumer never  uses too much  – making that cold coffee left over in the pot, which no-one actually drinks, a thing of the past. If Greiner Packaging has its way, the packaging will become even  more  sustainable in the future. The company is currently producing the first capsules made from a compostable polymer, which can be easily recycled in a home composter. “It was important to us to find a solution that would meet our high-quality standards for  product   protection  and  would  also  be  sustainable,  environmentally  friendly,  and user-friendly,” explains  Taner   Ertan,   international  business  development  manager  at  Greiner  Packaging.  “After extensive research, we decided on a polymer which is compostable and  has good  barrier properties. We have already put this material through  an initial series of successful product  tests.”

TÜV certification

The  process of having the  new  home  compostable capsule certified by TÜV AUSTRIA BELGIUM nv has also been underway since the  beginning of February. The  goal is for it to receive the  OK Home Compost certificate, which is only awarded to products that  can  be  composted at low temperatures – for example, in the composter in a consumer’s backyard.

Biodegradable products on the rise

“Organic material accounts for around 50% of all household waste. That figure will loom even  larger in the future due to the increasing popularity of biodegradable products, such as packaging materials and disposable cutlery. We want to make a contribution here, too,” Ertan adds. The TÜV certification process for the final home  compostable capsule should be completed by the fourth quarter of this year,  with the capsule available in the colors black and white, additional colors will follow.

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