The world is suffocating in packaging waste. Coffee capsules are just one example. A large manufacturer must now refrain from advertising them as compostable.
- The world is suffocating in packaging waste. Coffee capsules are just one example of this. A large manufacturer must now refrain from advertising them as compostable.
After a warning from the consumer organization Foodwatch, the roastery JJ Darboven stopped advertising Mövenpick coffee capsules as compostable and biodegradable. Darboven signed a corresponding cease-and-desist declaration, as Foodwatch announced on Friday. The "Green Caps" are therefore neither composted nor recycled; the waste companies have to burn them.
Foodwatch nominated the product last year for its negative "Golden Cream Bag" award. "Coffee capsules are a huge waste of resources – to praise this disposable packaging as particularly sustainable is brazen greenwashing," said Manuel Wiemann from Foodwatch of the AFP news agency.
Darboven has to admit: the attempted composting of the capsules failed
Darboven introduced the "green capsules" in July 2020. "It was to be assumed that due to the market development towards the use of industrially compostable materials, an expansion of the disposal capacities for such packaging would be created in the near future," says the company's letter to Foodwatch. Unfortunately, Darboven had to state "that very few disposal companies have equipped their plants in such a way that the desired composting can take place".
In the cease-and-desist declaration, the company announced that it would no longer advertise the coffee capsules as compostable and biodegradable after a "use by" period until June 30, 2022.
The Darboven coffee capsules are just one example of a fundamental problem, said Foodwatch representative Wiemann: "The food industry wants to camouflage its climate and environmentally harmful practices with green advertising promises." Wiemann demanded that the federal government stop green advertising lies on non-ecological products.
Almost no waste company in Germany can compost plastic
According to a survey by the German Environmental Aid, around 95 percent of waste-processing companies in Germany could not use so-called compostable plastic, Foodwatch explained. The capsules are usually sorted out before composting and end up in waste incineration. Virtually the entire waste processing industry rejects compostable plastic in the bio bin.
Foodwatch warned that domestic compost is also not suitable for the capsules. There and in nature they disintegrated very slowly or not at all. The Federal Environment Agency rates biodegradable plastics as "not more sustainable than conventional plastics". (AFP/hau)