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Capsule Pack introduces compostable capsules

From the April 2018 issue.

Capsule Pack now has a next generation compostable BioCap - a hermetically sealed capsule made entirely from sugarcane and sugar beet that has a 12-month shelf life.

Husband and wife team Mark and Alana Beattie have been in the coffee industry since 2009, as owners of Coffee Roasters Australia, manufacturers of Australian-made, high-quality roasting equipment and providers of an in-house roaster refurbishment service. The company advises the coffee industry across all aspects of roastery set-ups from small through to large industrial roasteries.

The couple also own sister company Capsule Pack, which was launched in 2013 and Alana says came about because of customers from Coffee Roasters Australia wanting to enter into the coffee capsule market.

At first Capsule Pack dealt only in plastic capsules, but in 2016 it moved from plastic to only producing biodegradable capsules also.

However, Alana says, those first biodegradable and compostable capsules needed a nitrogen-flushed packaging sleeve to keep in the freshness. Although those sleeves also became 100 per cent compostable earlier this year, they required additional materials and also added to the product size for shipping.

Capsule Pack now has a next generation compostable BioCap - a hermetically sealed capsule made entirely from sugarcane and sugar beet that has a 12-month shelf life.

Alana tells Global Coffee Report the new BioCaps will be available from June, but Capsule Pack already has orders from its regular clients.

Even the top film of the capsule is made of plant material and testing under industrial conditions shows they will fully break down into compost in around 12 weeks. They can be added to consumers' own compost heaps, she says, producing carbon dioxide, water and biomass in a closed-loop cycle to feed a garden or enrich soil, rather than adding more plastic to landfills.

"My husband and I, in our coffee business also, put the environment very high up on our values list, Alana says. "That's why we have always been striving to achieve this product that we have today. I believe it is the future of the capsule sector."

Even if the used BioCaps are thrown in regular waste where they may end up at a landfill, recycling unit or incinerator, they will have less impact on the environment than plastic capsules, Alana says.

"It's leading, cutting-edge technology," she says, "and its performance in Nespresso-compatible capsule machines is outstanding. It is also adding value to the planet.

"What having a hermetically sealed unit also allows us to do is to make the outer retail package far more compact, which maximises shelf space, reduces overall packaging costs and the impact of packaging on the environment, and also reduces shipping costs."

The packages for the new BioCaps measure 78 millimetres in width, height and depth, and contain 10 capsules each.

"The smaller we make the packaging, the more cost-effective it is for the roaster and the more cost-effective it is to send internationally as well," Alana says.

Capsule Pack has installed a new high-speed production line that has the capacity to produce 25 million capsules a year, making it one of the largest packers in Australia. Alana says the company is not only looking at local markets, but is in negotiations with some major retailers overseas to stock coffee in BioCaps.

"We have the ability to roast as well at our facilities, so we can roast, grind and pack," she says. "Australian roasters love to send us their coffee and we grind and pack it, but for international companies, we can roast grind and pack, making it incredibly economical. With the smaller packaging design, they can be absolutely competitive within their market with a high quality Australian roasted and packed capsule."


For more information on BioCap, visit: thegreenring.org

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