Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


COMPSULE Report Summary

Project ID: 697822

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COMPSULE (COMPostable capSULE for instant coffee delivery based on an innovative chemical functionalizationof biobased plastics)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-02-29

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The increasing trend of consumers on using single-served coffee pods has created an additional amount of thousand tons of waste to be disposed in landfill. Albeit being made of 100% recyclable materials, coffee capsules are barely recycled due to the effort required in separately treating the capsule’s components after use. Biopolymers lack stability when exposed to high temperature and pressure. Point Plastics has developed an innovative chemical additive for bioplastics that increases their thermal stability up to 100°C, making them compatible for extreme applications such as espresso coffee extraction. Compsule is a compostable capsule designed for instant espresso coffee machines such as the ones produced by Lavazza and Nespresso, able to withstand high temperature and pressure. This technology has a great impact on biobased polymer producers enabling a wider market share in fields impossible to target today. Point Plastic, with the support of the partner coffee roaster Saquella, will bring to the market a compostable capsule to be disposed of with other organic and green waste, thus reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills by hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year. The Compsules have been developed and validated in an operational environment (TRL 7) and now require to outline the industrial implementation and validation and to reach to the consumer market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Point Plastic, with the support of the SMEs partner, has achieved the business and technical feasibility objectives defined in the PH1 proposal, by identifying the product and process development plan, defined the minimum viable product, established the industrialization plans and the profiles of key stakeholders to be involved for a successful commercialisation. Furthermore the company has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the market segments; identified the competition, the entry barriers and proper counter actions, prepared the commercialisation plan and 5 years financial projection. During the Feasibility Study, Point Plastic has interacted frequently with the end-user Saquella, acquiring feedback on their requirements and a deeper knowledge of the coffee market. A further viable application beyond the coffee capsules has been identified in the disposable tableware products, that will be prepared by thermoforming.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The compostable capsule to be disposed of with other organic and green waste will reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills by hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year. For coffee producers the capsules will reduce their carbon footprint and respond to the demand of an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer base. For the capsule moulder manufacturers, the Compsules do not impose any new machinery on their current production line as can be manufactured similarly to the polymers currently used. For capsuled coffee drinkers the Compsules are both airtight and designed to fit user’s current machines, allowing them to be easily adopted.
Thanks to the increased thermal stability that overcome one of the main drawbacks of bioplastic, the biocompound introduced by Point Plastic will allow to switch from petroleum-based plastics to biodegradable plastic in many other application, which will imply an overall decrease of waste disposed in landfill and a decreased carbon footprint.

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