Green Innovation and Zero Waste for Flo

Flo SpA, a major European food packaging producer increasingly engaged in research of sustainable high-quality products, is proud to introduce three new capsule formats in the GEA family that are industrially compostable, fully biobased, and able to provide a brewing experience that is expected of the most popular capsules on the market.

Building on the success and adoption of the GEA compostable version for the A Modo Mio system, Flo again partnered with NatureWorks - a leading company in the production of functional biomaterials - to develop new GEA capsules suitable for Nespresso, Lavazza Blu, and Keurig systems.

The entire family of GEA compostable coffee capsules will all be on display in Flo’s booth at HOST in Milan from October 18-22, 2019.

The GEA capsules are all made with Ingeo™, a renewably sourced biomaterial from NatureWorks that can be used for all parts of a coffee capsule from lidding to filters to the capsule body.

"The creation of new GEA capsules is the result of a great and well-organized teamwork" explains Erika Simonazzi, Marketing Manager of Flo SpA. "Coffee capsules are complex products and creating a compostable, high performing solution required significant investment and expertise. This could only happen when two companies, like ours, are dedicated to cooperation and the development of applications that meet the needs of the growing circular economy".

Thanks to strategic investments, the opening of two cutting-edge laboratories, and a great team, Flo can provide their customers scientific data that demonstrates how their coffee performs in Flo’s compostable capsule formats.

Using the new laboratory capabilities, all the GEA capsules have been tuned to achieve the ideal pressure needed to deliver a coffee from every capsule that is perfectly brewed for maximum taste, crema, and aroma. New data also demonstrates that the GEA capsules deliver excellent oxygen barrier, material ageing stability, and shelf-life all in a biobased, industrially compostable format.

Recent testing with Accademia Italiana Maestri del Caffè (AICAF) has also verified that the GEA capsules maintain the flavour and aroma of the coffee for over 11 months, with testing still ongoing. This type of performance meets the needs of the most demanding coffee roasters and consumers.

"Sustainability has always been one of the top items in any coffee roaster’s agenda,” explains Flavio Di Marcotullio, Global Industry Leader at NatureWorks. We are delighted to observe how the coffee industry is now fully embracing industrial compostability as the preferred recovery option for coffee capsules. Today, thanks to the collaboration between Flo and NatureWorks, roasters have finally access to a capsule that not only is certified compostable, biobased, and food contact-approved, but also has demonstrated and measurable performance that allows consumers to brew the perfect coffee at home”.

Recycling Post-Industrial GEA Capsule Materials for 3D Printing

As an eco-friendly alternative to non-compostable capsules made of plastic, GEA is one of the zero waste projects at Flo. Zero waste means that all parts of a capsule, including the coffee, can be recovered for industrial composting and no part has to go to waste. Flo has extended this dedication to zero waste to their industrial production partnering with the advanced additive manufacturing company, Caracol, to make use of Ingeobased trimscrap leftover from the production of GEA capsules. The result is a 3D printed exhibition stand and the built-in “3D Bar” that was first displayed during Salone del Mobile in Milan.



“The idea,” says Erika Simonazzi, “is to preserve the high value of the original material by recycling all the capsule materials into a display that we can continue to repurpose in future exhibitions. And when we are ready for a new design, we will recycle the stand by grinding it down to print into a new item.” The 3D Bar is printed directly from plastic flakes with Caracol’s custom anthropomorphic robotic system and demonstrates how post-industrial waste materials can be recycled into elegant, new applications.

The stand and 3D Bar will also be on display in Flo’s booth (Pav 22 Stand D27) at HOST in Milan.