Danimer Scientific kicks off Earth Week with compostable coffee pods

a pile of assorted colorful single-use coffee pods

To start Earth Week on April 17—the same day Danimer Scientific rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)—the biotech company announced a new plan to manufacture single-use compostable coffee pods.

In collaboration with TotalEnergies Corbion, the compostable coffee pods are made from the two companies’ trademark materials: the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material known as Nodax from Danimer, and the high-heat polylactic acid (PLA) material called Luminy from TotalEnergies Corbion.

Danimer Scientific states an estimated “550 million pounds of plastic are used in the manufacture of single-use coffee pods annually” in the European market. The new plastic formula has already undergone biodegradability tests and has been certified a household compostable by Technischer Überwachungsverein (TUV), an international company that certifies the safety or purpose of an item.

EU seeks compostable plastics

In late 2022, the European Union revealed its intention to broaden the scope of the European Green Deal to encompass industrially compostable plastics. These plastics can be decomposed by microorganisms much more rapidly than conventional plastics. According to the European Commission, industrially compostable plastics must only be used for light plastic goods like coffee pods and tea bags.

Companies around the world started searching for the perfect replacement for single-use plastics. Danimer and TotalEnergies Corbion may be onto something.

Danimer and TotalEnergies Corbion forged a comprehensive partnership in 2021, to ensure a reliable source of Luminy PLA for the production of compostable products.

The chief marketing and sustainability officer of Danimer, Scott Tuten, stated: “Since beginning our collaborative partnership with TotalEnergies Corbion a couple of years ago, we’ve been working to blend together our respective materials, Nodax and Luminy, to meet the specific functionality needs of our customers for a variety of applications.”

The collaboration has led to a successful effort to comply with the new EU legislation. Thomas Philipon, CEO of TotalEnergies Corbion, also expressed enthusiasm for the possibility of continuing such collaborations in the future.

What is Danimer Scientific?

Danimer Scientific is a biopolymer manufacturer known for its patent material Nodax.

According to the company’s 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, Nodax “has the market potential to replace over 500 billion pounds of plastic applications annually.”

Danimer Scientific developed renewable biopolymers as part of its commitment to promoting global preservation and sustainable development. These are already being used in a variety of consumer goods.

A member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Danimer promotes and delivers sustainability. In early March, the I am BIO Podcast explored Danimer’s Nodax as a potential solution to plastic pollution – read more on Bio.News.

What is Total Energies Corbion?

TotalEnergies Corbion is a leading producer of Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and lactide monomers, which are intermediate products used in the manufacture of PLA. The company’s Luminy brand of PLA is derived from renewable resources, making it both biodegradable and biobased. Yearly, TotalEnergies Corbion produces 75,000 tons of PLA in Rayong, Thailand.

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