The compostable plastic ecovio® from BASF has found its first production application in a system solution for packaging. It is furthermore the first application for the injection molding grade ecovio IS1335. The material is being used in combination with an ecovio-based multi-layer system with specific barrier properties. Working together with the Swiss Coffee Company, BASF has succeeded in developing a system that consists of a coffee capsule and an aroma-tight outer packaging. It fulfills the demanding requirements for protecting the product and brewing coffee in high-pressure coffee machines, yet may still be composted. The system solution is predominantly based on renewable resources.
Expanded ecovio product line
BASF launched the plastic ecovio six years ago. It is biodegradable and compostable as defined by EN 13432, based to a large extent on renewable resources and in the meantime has been able to prove itself in a variety of film applications. To date, the primary fields of application have been bags for collecting biodegradable waste and mulch film, which helps to cultivate fruit and vegetables in fields.
With the new product grade ecovio IS1335, which is especially suitable for injection molding, and with new ecovio-based solutions for multi-layer film with a barrier properties, BASF has expanded the product line further. These product variants helped the new Switzerland-based Swiss Coffee Company develop a high-volume product that can contribute to sustainability in many ways while simultaneously addressing the latest trend in coffee drinking.
Swiss Coffee Company and the product beanarella
Since the end of 2012, the Swiss Coffee Company is offering coffee in compostable plastic capsules in an aroma-type barrier packaging together with coffee machines in Switzerland under the brand name beanarella. The idea for the product came to the company's founders in 2011, and after a record project completion time of only some 13 months, high-grade coffee packaged in injection molded biodegradable plastic capsules was on the market. The goal of the company is to market high-quality coffee that simultaneously satisfies demanding criteria from the social and environmental standpoint when it comes to production. The packaging was expected to satisfy similar criteria.
Traditional roasting, fair trade and compostable packaging
The coffee is produced by means of traditional drum roasting by Switzerland's oldest roaster and is thus especially low in acid and gentle on the stomach. The coffee beans are certified organic and subject to fair trade regulations. The requirements that Mr. Schaude, founder of the Swiss Coffee Company, established for the packaging are just as demanding. Accordingly, in contrast to most coffee capsules on the market, the ones offered by the Swiss Coffee Company are not manufactured from aluminum. Disposing intelligently of everything that remains after drinking the coffee was an especially important aspect in terms of packaging. In the case of food packaging with a high percentage of organic content, compostable plastics such as ecovio from BASF represent a possible solution. In this way, sustainability concepts could be applied not only to producing the coffee, but also to the packaging and disposal.