November 13, 2023

What are Metropolis private label coffee capsules made from?

Private label coffee capsules are a fantastic option for hospitality businesses. They make it easy to offer a proprietary blend in a convenient format.

However, many people are concerned about the environmental impact of single-serve coffee. In the past, people have understandably criticized aluminum and plastic coffee capsules for the waste they produce.

The good news is that there is an alternative solution: plant-based sustainable commercially compostable private label coffee capsules. But where do we source these capsules, and how do you dispose of them correctly? Read on to find out.

Metropolis private label coffee capsule shells in bulk.

What are Metropolis coffee capsule shells made from?

Metropolis Coffee private label capsules are made from plant-based sustainable material. Unlike plastic and aluminum capsules, they are commercially compostable.

Metropolis Coffee founder Tony Dreyfuss explains: “Our commercially compostable (also called industrially compostable) espresso capsules are made from plant-based materials. A commercial composting facility can break them down completely into nutrient-rich soil conditioner.”

These facilities transform the capsule waste into usable compost, made up of water, biomass, and carbon dioxide. Farmers use this to fertilize and condition soil.

How does composting work?

Under the right conditions, compostable waste breaks down naturally to create usable compost.

Home consumers can achieve this by adding food waste and other home compostable materials to dedicated bins or heaps. 

However, commercial composting is a more complex process. At this scale, breaking down larger volumes of organic waste requires specific conditions. This includes temperature, humidity, and the presence of specific microorganisms.

“Our private label coffee capsules are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the gold standard certification agency, to be commercially compostable,” Tony says. “This means that they can be composted alongside other food scraps and yard waste. They will not end up in a landfill.”

Who manufactures our commercially compostable coffee capsule shells?

We source our capsule shells from Smile Beverage Werks LLC: a company that specializes in the manufacture of high-quality compostable products – including coffee capsules.

“Smile creates the customizable capsule according to its patented formula,” Tony explains. “Smile has officially licenced us to represent its products in our market.”

Once we receive empty capsule shells, we fill them with a precise dose of perfectly-ground coffee. We then seal and nitro-flushing them to maximize freshness. 

“These cost roughly the same as aluminum espresso capsules, so you don't need to spend more money for ecological sustainability,” Tony adds. “They have a shelf life comparable to aluminum or plastic, so you don't need to sacrifice freshness, either.”

But how easy is it for businesses to compost used capsules?

A man holds commercially processed compost in his hands.

How do you dispose of commercially compostable private label coffee capsules?

Tony explains that businesses have several options for composting private label coffee capsules. 

In fact, the first option is to find a commercial composting facility near you. You can also check with your local municipality to see if they offer composting services.

“You can use the Composting Facility Locator from the US Composting Council to find a facility in your area,” he says.

Another option is to sign up to a dedicated private commercial composting service. These companies collect commercially compostable waste from your business and deliver it to an accredited facility. 

“If you're a large company that produces a substantial volume of compostable material, you may even want to consider beginning your own on-site industrial composting program,” Tony adds. “This can be a more cost-effective option and give you more flexibility.”

Tony also stresses the importance of checking your coffee capsules to ensure they’re certified commercially compostable.

Metropolis Coffee capsules are certified by the BPI as well as the Composter Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), which determines whether a product is suitable as “feedstock” for industrial composting facilities in the US. It does this by conducting hands-on field testing.

These certifications mean that our private label coffee capsules pass the strictest standards for composting in the US.

Boxes of Metropolis wholesale espresso capsules in three blends.

Metropolis Coffee private label coffee capsules

For hospitality businesses looking to create a signature blend and offer it as a commercially compostable coffee capsule, private label is the best option.

“For a client that is not a roaster that wants to have their own product, we specialize in creating a bespoke blend just for them,” Tony explains.

However, if you already have a coffee that you want to start offering in capsule format, we can also handle that with our co-packing service. 

“Unlike other co-packers or private label companies, our roastery is acclaimed for quality and sustainability,” Tony adds. “We can produce either home compostable espresso capsules or commercially compostable espresso capsules, fill 10-count or bulk boxes, and secure certifications like organic and Fair Trade.”

He adds that there are two other main benefits. Firstly, you don’t have to deal with high minimum order quantities (MOQs). Secondly, we’ve refined and perfected the manufacturing process – allowing us to minimize development times and get underway as quickly as possible. 

Finally, if you want to purchase existing Metropolis Coffee espresso capsules, we offer our retail range to wholesale customers:

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale, co-packing, and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit or on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis espresso capsules are made under license from Smile Beverage Werks, P.B.C.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.

Metropolis Coffee

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