European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association representing the bioplastics industry, has upheld the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to make coffee capsules mandatorily compostable in industrial composting.

The association also urged the EU Parliament and Council to support the proposal.

EUBP managing director Hasso von Pogrell said: “While we regret that currently only a limited number of packaging applications have been suggested to mandatorily be compostable, we wholeheartedly support the Commission’s inclusion of coffee capsules in the listing of products that, in the future, shall be allowed to be placed on the EU market only if certified compostable.”

As per EC’s Impact Assessment, compostable coffee capsules are a preferred alternative from a Life-Cycle Assessment perspective as it increases the rate of biowaste capturing, while reducing the contamination of compost with non-compostable plastics.

According to EUBP, the introduction of single-serve units that are compostable in industrial composting facilities will provide consumers with a clear idea of where to dispose of their used coffee capsules. Additionally, EUPB said that compostable capsule ensures that the packaging accompanying the coffee will be metabolised by naturally-existing microorganisms.

Hasso von Pogrell added: “We, therefore, strongly believe that organic recycling is the most environmentally sound end of life option for single serve coffee units and call on the Parliament and Council to keep coffee capsules on the proposed positive list for mandatorily compostable packaging applications as set out in the Commission’s proposal for revised packaging rules.”

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Europe remains the largest coffee market in the world, accounting for about 32% of global coffee consumption.

Last month, the EC proposed “common criteria” businesses should follow to tackle false “green” claims made on products sold within the EU.