The growth of packaging in landfill environments has become an issue we can no longer ignore. Once buried in landfills, coffee packaging, aggravates the situation. The only real solution must start there.
Packaging solutions offered to improve waste issues have largely focused on materials that can be composted by exposure to light and oxygen. But buried under tons of garbage, standard bags made of multi-layered materials can remain in landfills for decades, even centuries.
Tek Pak Solutions has developed materials designed to degrade in anaerobic (landfill) environments in as little as two years.
“Despite best efforts, more than 90% of our discarded food and beverage packaging ends up in landfills, cut off from light or oxygen. We must provide solutions that start here,” explains Tek Pak president Robert Pocius. “Omni is the first of its kind material that accelerates degradation of polyolefin plastics in anaerobic (landfill) environments. For once there’s a solution for the problem where it exists. Better yet, our materials maintain recyclability of single material plastics,” he said.
The company has partnered with New York based Aripack to create the first ever Omni-Cup single-serve coffee option. Aripack, founded in 2001, provides custom-made flexible and rigid food and beverage packaging.
Single-serve brewers with disposable capsules (metal and plastic) will generate 20 billion discards this year, more than 75% of those will not be recycled.
“Too often we discard something without a true understanding of where it will end up,” Pocius explains. “Out of sight, out of mind. Once a refuse collector picks up the trash at the curb, the problem is solved. Landfills across North America are growing at an alarming rate. Plastics with no chance to break down, pile up and remain there for centuries. What’s worse are plastics that float in our lakes and oceans.”
“Omnidegradable materials react to microbial activity while maintaining recyclability. A solution that accelerates microbial activity in water, soil, and most importantly landfills creates an opportunity for all of us to attack the issue where it exists. Oceans, streams, fields, home composts or landfills, finally a holistic approach,” he said.
Pocius says that he and Aripack c.e.o. Isak Bengiyat have focused on the coffee category and worked to expand the product catalog to offer a full line of flexible and rigid packaging options. “Now, the coffee category can lead the way in offering eco-responsible solutions that consider the complete picture and attack the issue from all sides,” Bengiyat said.