Melitta Unveils Biodegradable Coffee Filters, Responsibly Sourced Packaging Certifications

Melitta coffee brewed with compostable filter

(Credit: Melitta)

by | Jan 19, 2024

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Melitta said it has achieved new sustainability certifications for its packaging and cone coffee filters, with all filter boxes made from 100% recycled paperboard.

The coffee company has now obtained two certifications for its sustainable products and packaging, one from the Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) and the other from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The BPI certification verifies that Melitta cone coffee filters are made with materials that are compostable in commercial facilities, while the FSC certification assures that paper used for the filters is sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Beyond the new certifications, Melitta has also integrated a number of sustainability practices into its operations. The company has used solar panels at its roasting facility in New Jersey since 2017, reportedly avoiding over a million pounds of carbon emissions. Through its partnership with American Forests, the company has also planted over 600,000 trees throughout the United States with a goal of planting 1 million trees total.

Regulatory Bodies, Coffee Companies Attempt to Address Industry-Wide Environmental Damages

The coffee industry, not unlike many other agricultural industries, is known for high levels of deforestation, water demand, and harmful pesticide use. Some coffee companies have taken steps to address destructive farming practices and to protect often vulnerable coffee farming communities, and new European Union regulations will soon require coffee companies to track where products are grown, ensuring they are not contributing to further deforestation.

Recently, Nestlé announced plans to pilot a new weather insurance program for coffee farmers in Indonesia and is working to support regenerative agricultural practices in the region. Starbucks has also partnered with Arizona State University to develop a sustainability research and innovation hub in Costa Rica, aiming to explore climate adaptation and agricultural practices for the coffee industry.

Using sustainable packaging may reduce waste once coffee is distributed, but larger-scale changes will also need to occur to address supply chain emissions and to support better land-use practices for coffee production.

“As a brand dedicated to sustainability as one of our guiding values, we continue to innovate within our supply chain to align with stringent global standards set by organizations like the FSC and BPI,” said Donna Gray, sustainability director at Melitta. “Paired with corporate volunteerism and giving back through our partners, our commitment is to work towards the pursuit for better coffee and a better planet.”

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