All About Coffee & Sustainability
Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are infiltrating our grocery store shelves, however, are they truly helpful for the world?
Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are infiltrating our grocery store shelves, however, are they truly helpful for the world?

Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are infiltrating our grocery store shelves, however, are they truly helpful for the world?

We are happy that you landed on our page. Generally, we have of course more blogs on coffee pods, coffee and compostable Nespresso capsules. Other meaningful websites on plastic-free coffee pods are for instance from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. Do go through our good article on Nespresso pods.

Ever been tricked by an artificial flower plan? Ever admired the foliage just to find that (upon closer inspection) the bouquet remains in fact a scams? Greenwashing works in a really comparable method – brand names harnessing misleading marketing to encourage you that an item is environmentally friendly and therefore “better for the environment”.

Sadly, many of these businesses assume customers have their head in the sand, and in the coffee pods market in particular, we’re definitely seeing these sort of marketing methods rising. Encouraging words like “recyclable”, “naturally degradable”, “plant based” and “compostable” really put your mind at ease? On a practical level, what do these terms actually suggest and are they actually as excellent as they sound?

We get that in some cases it’s easiest to pop your first option in the shopping trolley and individuals are definitely attempting their finest to make the best choices, so it’s far from reasonable that everyday shoppers are being misinformed.

Don’t be deceived by sly advertising methods or confusing terms and labelling – we have actually assembled the info you require to prevent being greenwashed. So, are the coffee pods you’re using actually “green”? Let’s find out.

Phony environmentally friendly products: Are your coffee capsules sustainable?

Most cluey customers are becoming savvy to the reality that the service that is “recyclable” coffee pods isn’t wonderful and as easy as we’ve been led to believe. The process of recycling capsules is neither kind nor convenient to the environment.

For numerous consumers, the rigmarole around recycling their pods avoids them from following through – it has actually been said that of the 13,500 capsule coffees taken in every minute, only 21% make it through to the recycling procedure. Some brands require to be dropped at specific collection points, posted straight to the business, and even need taking apart and cleaning prior to the elements can be recycled separately – general, the procedure is extremely energy-intensive.

Possibly because of this, the former Nespresso CEO approximates the worldwide rate of recycling for coffee pods to be less than 5%. With the energy needed to transport and process the capsules in a recycling center, is this truly a sustainable option at all, or just a bandaid option for a much larger concern?

Eventually, the problem is not whether they can be recycled or not. Obviously it is much better to recycle something than not, but the bottom line is that it’s much better to not produce the waste at all.

Problem = Recyclable pods can not be recycled via domestic bins + the recycling process has a high carbon footprint

Recycling coffee pods is a bandaid option for a much bigger waste problem

When it comes to pods what does “plant-based” even mean, and what’s it got to do with how the capsule is disposed of? To the typical person, it sure sounds wholesome, lovely and favorable – however are they a much better option than non reusable, plastic pods?

Well, the primary claim you’ll generally find here is that part of the pod product packaging consists of specific portion of plant-based product. Instead, it turns into small pieces of plastic that will never break down, contributing to the micro plastics problem we’re currently battling in our oceans and waterways.

Essentially, when these end up in landfill or our environment, they trigger more damage than great. In our humble opinion? This is probably not an excellent option.

Issue = The bulk of plant-based pods simply deteriorate into small micro plastics

Video: Sustainable and Nespresso Pods by Moving Beans.

Compostable/ eco-friendly coffee pods made from plant-based products like corn and sugarcane

Compostable and naturally degradable – they’re kind of the same, however kind of … not. With sustainability “patterns” on the increase, biodegradable and compostable coffee pod options are now numerous.

However let’s break this down (pun meant): Products that biodegrade or compost can definitely be fantastic for decreasing waste, if disposed of correctly. Just because a product is labelled as “compostable”, it doesn’t always suggest that it will break down in your home compost.

Normally, coffee pods made totally of bioplastics need commercial composting (industrially high temperatures, wetness levels, and UV light) to decompose within any reasonable timespan. Even still, these materials can leave behind micro-fragments and poisonous residues.

It’s an obscure truth that, sadly, it’s not likely your home composting system has what it takes to break down your eco-friendly pods. Some councils supply commercial composting through their kerbside green waste collection, nevertheless they may forbid products identified biodegradable or compostable, so it’s important that you verify. Constantly be sure to contact your local council to see if they accept bioplastic very first prior to disposing.

If you were after a coffee pod that’s safe to put straight in your garden compost bin, we can understand how this might be confusing. Some warnings to look out for (in fine print on the back of product packaging, or at the very base/footer of a website) are lines like:
” They are recyclable and biodegradable, however not compostable.”
” In order for compostable capsules to break down in 90 days, capsules need to be processed through an industrial composting facility.” or
” Please contact your regional council before disposing in your green bin.”

When it comes to compostable items in general, ideally you wish to look for products that are Australian accredited as “Home Compostable” by the Australian Bioplastics Association, ensuring they’re labelled as safe for composts, are made from vegetable product and are plastic complimentary – phew!

Secret takeaway? Constantly research and check out the great print on how to compost each brand name before you buy if it feels and looks like plastic.

Issue = A lot of naturally degradable & compostable pods need industrial composting centers to breakdown

Bioplastic coffee pods: Sustainable, or greenwash? Think two times if they look like plastic

As you understand, every product requires basic materials to be mined/grown/manufactured, processed, packaged, and delivered. This is rather an energy-hungry, short life for a such a small portion of coffee. The energy output of production is so great, that no single-use product can compare to a reusable item – even if it’s recyclable, compostable, or naturally degradable.

The best thing we human beings can do for the environment is to take in less. This decreases not only our waste, however likewise the energy expended in producing an item. Taking in less is something to keep in mind for all elements of life. So when it concerns a pre-portioned pack of coffee, multiple-use capsules get this right. The more your pod is recycled, the more sustainable each cuppa.

Aside from having the ability to choose your preferred brand name of coffee, there’s one more secret bonus to filling your own pods: it’s a lot more economical than purchasing disposable pods. If you’re on a tight spending plan, invest in a pack of reusables and enjoy your savings roll in.

In stating this, when it concerns multiple-use, it’s still important to be greenwash-aware. Something to bear in mind when searching for any recyclable product, is that quality and longevity are crucial – more affordable, unfortunately is hardly ever “better”. Some warnings to watch out for:

  • Flimsy plastic multiple-use pods with an exceptionally restricted life-span (e.g. 30 uses).
  • Plastic reusable pods that are not BPA complimentary, food safe and so on
  • Reusable pods that come packaged in plastic.
  • Pods from any company or website that does not provide any info on it’s sustainability practices (even if a product is “naked” on the shelf, doesn’t suggest it’s upstream supply chain was pollution-free).

Moving Beans is a company that has been providing compostable Nespresso capsules for endless years, with much more info under Moving Beans. Alternatively read a good article on compostable Nespresso pods. They were the first to provide compostable coffee pods.