The new Lavazza coffee capsules will be made of Mater-Bi® 3G, a material belonging to the third generation of Novamont’s bioplastics. Mater-Bi® 3G is made with a new thistle-based bio-polymer and contains a significant percentage of renewable resources. It is ready for organic recycling according to EU standard EN 13432 and entails a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In the current linear model of production-consumption-disposal, the product ends its lifetime as waste and is sent to a landfill site or incinerator. The compostable capsule created by Lavazza and Novamont, can instead be disposed of along with the other organic waste and processed industrially to become compost. This is the circular economy principle of zero waste, according to which all used products can return to being a resource, with significant environmental benefits. The capsule is planned to be ready in the second half of 2015 and will hit the market in 2016.
The capsule, which is compatible with the Lavazza Minù coffee machine, contains two high quality blends of 100% Arabica coffee beans certified by Rainforest Alliance (one of the most important NGOs in the sector, with which Lavazza has been working for more than 10 years, and which certifies the economic, environmental and social sustainability of raw materials).
"What we aim to do with this product is gratify the consumers with a perfect espresso, while at the same time enabling them to make their own contribution to our good practices and sustainable actions.
These are values which form part of Lavazza's very DNA, and which we apply by means of our internal code of ethics and in our relations with our partners", says Marco Lavazza, Group Vice-chairman.
Catia Bastoli, Managing Director of Novamont, says, "With this first compostable espresso coffee capsule developed with Lavazza, which uses third generation Mater-Bi®, we're in a position to demonstrate the potential of the bio-economy in real terms, not merely in the sense of using renewable raw materials, but as a means of regenerating the territory. The model that we've conceived and that we've successfully been putting into practice for many years now is that of bio-refineries integrated into the territory and dedicated to high added value products, such as biochemicals and bioplastics, developed on the basis of multidisciplinary research applied to the study of local renewable resources, and massive ongoing investments. The third generation Mater-Bi® which will be used to make the Lavazza espresso coffee capsules is manufactured by means of a process involving no fewer than three Italian production plants (Terni, Patrica and Porto Torres). With the technologies developed in the course of the years through Novamont research, these plants, which were no longer competitive, were revitalised as innovative industrial factories, which create jobs, new products and new methods, which link different sectors and transform scrap into resources. The Matrica bio-refinery (a joint venture between Novamont and Versalis) has recently come into production in Porto Torres. This makes use of the new Novamont technology to manufacture azelaic acid, the distinguishing ingredient of third generation Mater-Bi®, at industrial level, along with a series of other bio-products based on an integrated agricultural cycle. It's important to point out that behind something as apparently simple as an everyday cup of coffee obtained from this new compostable capsule lies not only a possible reinforcement of environmental safeguards but also economic growth and increased employment, within a territorially integrated production process focused on biodiversity”.