Qbo coffee switches to coffee capsules made from renewable materials

Qbo coffee switches to coffee capsules made from renewable materials

German coffee producer Tchibo changes the coffee capsule game for its Qbo brand by introducing a capsule made from renewable raw materials.


Coffee capsules are becoming more and more popular around the world. They are practical and offer a great cup of coffee, particularly when the coffee is from a premium brand like Qbo. The downside is the environmental footprint of coffee capsules as they generate a lot of packaging waste and have traditionally been made of virgin polypropylene material.

Recently, German coffee producer Tchibo set out to do better. The company wanted to change the material composition of its Qbo brand capsules to improve their sustainability. The first step was to team up with the producer of their capsules, Berry Superfos, and the Finish feedstock supplier, Neste, to explore what could be done. Now, a year or so later, Tchibo has introduced an innovative coffee capsule, made with second-generation renewable and recycled raw materials.

“While our Qbo capsules are still made of polypropylene (PP), now the PP is produced from 70% renewable raw materials instead of virgin fossil oil as is normally the case for coffee capsules. Our new capsules are not only made from renewable materials. This makes the entire Qbo range – containing sustainably grown Qbo coffee brewed in Qbo machines – one of the most sustainable capsule systems on the market,” says Marius-Konstantin Wiche, development manager, capsule & innovation at Tchibo.

Waste becomes capsules
The change to the Qbo capsules with their unique cubic shape is invisible to the naked eye. So what has really changed? Marius-Konstantin Wiche explains:

“We needed to ensure that the high quality and great taste of the Qbo coffee would not be affected. That’s why we focused on replacing the raw materials for the capsules, not the PP itself. We now use so-called second-generation renewable raw materials – i.e. organic waste and by-products, such as tall oils from forestry, waste fats from the fast-food industry and vegetable fats from cooking oil production. These materials go into producing PP polymers with the same quality as virgin PP; you won’t see or taste any difference.”

A strong trio of partners
Tchibo trusted their long-term capsule provider Berry Superfos to be a key partner in this project, alongside feedstock producer Neste.

“We chose Berry Superfos for this project as they have experience with our product and hold the required ISCC PLUS certification to produce the capsules from renewable materials. Their knowledge of foil extrusion and thermoforming for our capsules is excellent and we also appreciate their inhouse engineering and machining of related parts for our products.”

“Together, our Tchibo team, Neste and Berry Superfos have created a fantastic result; the Qbo coffee still maintains its premium quality, but now in a capsule produced with less CO2 emissions,” Marius-Konstantin Wiche concludes.


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Contact
Matthias Michaelis
Key Account Director SBS
Beverage Systems
Bremervörde
Phone: +49 160 8365197

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