ACTEseal® PVC-Free Heatseal Coatings from ACTEGA

The ideal solution for improving the recyclability of aluminum coffee capsules

As our lives become faster and faster, convenience has become a major factor in the consumption of food and beverages. At the same time, we are acting more and more consciously when it comes to the impact of our purchasing decisions on the environment. Coffee capsules are a popular solution because they offer us a quick caffeine boost while allowing us to portion as needed. At the same time, thanks to their excellent barrier properties, aluminum coffee capsules optimally protect the coffee powder from external influences such as oxygen, light and moisture, thus ensuring that the full aroma of the coffee is preserved for a long time.

Challenges for the environment

But although these convenient little portioned units have already provided countless cups of coffee for quick enjoyment, they also pose a number of challenges for the environment. With 27 billion aluminum capsules filled worldwide in 2022, the number of capsules in the waste stream continues to rise. This puts increasing pressure on brand owners to find new ways to make their packaging more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The ability to recycle the end product and keep it in the loop is crucial – as is the implementation of sustainable production processes throughout the value chain.

ACTEGA, a global company that specializes in developing and producing specialty coatings, inks, adhesives, sealants and compounds for the printing and packaging industry, has recently achieved an important breakthrough in the coffee capsule market. The new ACTEseal® heatseal coatings for the internal coating of aluminum coffee capsules are PVC-free, making a significant contribution to improved recyclability. Capsules covered with PVC-containing coatings pose challenges for recyclers, as incineration of the halogen-containing coating produces substances that can be associated with environmental damage. Additional filtration systems are required to recycle PVC-containing capsules, making the process complex and costly. In addition, legal restrictions on the use of PVC in Europe are already on the horizon. 1 , 2

"After several years of research and development, we are proud to introduce our new PVC-free heatseal coatings. We firmly believe that our solution will not only become the industry standard, but also set the bar for responsibly produced packaging", says Stefan Brandhoff, Vice President Sales for Flexible Packaging EMEA at ACTEGA.

The new ACTEseal® heatseal coatings not only improve the recyclability of aluminum coffee capsules, but also help increase the use of circular materials in packaging through their sealability against recycled aluminum. ACTEGA's solution alleviates some of the sustainability concerns inherent in the coffee capsule industry. However, the advantages of these new PVC-free heatseal coatings go beyond sustainability: they impress with their excellent sealing seam strength, high burst pressure in the stress test, and their flexibility and formability. Only raw materials that are suitable for direct food contact and have been proven to comply with standard market food regulations (including FDA and EU regulations) are used.

In addition to heatseal coatings for interior coating, ACTEGA also offers a broad portfolio of primers, base coats, and print and overprint varnishes for the exterior of coffee capsules.

"Innovations in sustainable packaging are developing at an impressive pace, and ACTEGA is paving the way for future solutions. With the successful launch of our new PVC-free coating systems, we offer a promising step forward for the coffee capsule industry and brands seeking to meet growing consumer demands for environmentally sustainable packaging", says Thomas Sawitowski, Senior Vice President Flexible Packaging at ACTEGA.

Learn more about our new product solutions for heat seal aluminum coffee capsules and how we can contribute to improving the recyclability.