All About Coffee & Sustainability
The environmental case for sustainable coffee pods!
The environmental case for sustainable coffee pods!

The environmental case for sustainable coffee pods!

We are thrilled that you landed on our site. Generally, there are of course more blogs on compostable coffee pods, coffee and coffee pods. Other educational articles on compostable coffee pods are e.g. from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. Do read our pertinent article on Nespresso pods.

We frequently hear that single shot coffee capsules are not good for the environment, because of the energy to grow the beans, make the capsules, brew the coffee, and get rid of the waste. There is an upside however, as plastic capsules turn out to be a more sustainable method of drinking espresso than nearly any other approach of making coffee. According to research study, recyclable aluminium pods are more environmentally friendly however the lack of recycling facilities in the UK and the greater energy requirement to produce the aluminium pods means plastic capsules are much better after all.

In the UK, nearly one third of families own an espresso pod maker. Green campaigners, have actually been critical of the quick adoption of the coffee capsule, criticising the deluge of waste streaming from the pod-powered coffee machine.

It looks bad for the environment, but that’s not the whole story. To comprehend the environmental impact of feeding our coffee habit, it’s crucial to life-cycle assessment research studies for the complete variety of coffee-making approaches. Alf Hill, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Bath, looked at all the stages of coffee production, from growing the beans to disposal of waste, assessing the impact on communities, climate modification, and water.

His team discovered that instant coffee comes out best, but that capsules are the runner up in the ecological impact stakes. Filter or drip coffee comes third, while conventional espresso has the worst environmental effect. “The impact, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water and fertiliser usage, primarily occurs where the coffee is grown,” states Hill. “Capsules tend to require less coffee input to make a single beverage and so their total impact can be lower even though we see more waste when we toss them away.”

Aside from the environmental impact of growing beans in the very first place, the second greatest hit is the energy it takes to brew coffee. The coffee makers just flash-heat the amount of water required for one part, unlike, for example, boiling a kettle.

Typical users of a drip filter machine use it very ineffective frequently leaving it turned on, if more coffee is made than needed. Because circumstances drip-filter coffee substantially even worse than capsules!

Video: Sustainable and Nespresso Pods by Moving Beans.

Research by KTH in Stockholm, on the other hand, found that filter coffee has the worst environmental impact, since cup for cup, filter coffee uses more beans to prepare a single cup– about 7 grams, compared to 5.7 grams for capsule coffee. Include that approximately billions of cups of coffee intoxicated around the globe each year and it quickly produces substantial boost of the quantity of coffee beans that have to be grown, harvested, processed and carried, plus all the energy needed to warm the water when making the cup.

Despite the many studies revealing that drip coffee and espressos are actually worse for the environment than capsules, it is the lowly plastic coffee pod that gets the bum rap. Individuals are simply concentrating on how capsules are eliminating the planet, hence the factor for a great deal of work is going into making capsules more sustainable– due to the fact that there is a sales chance in making them more sustainable, as people believe they are bad– and not because it is in fact an unsustainable way of drinking coffee.

A research study by Quantis compared the electricity intake throughout developing, heating and squandering coffee for single-serve and drip coffee preparation. It found that single-serve coffee utilizes a specific serving of fresh coffee, which cuts coffee waste, while individuals making drip coffee frequently have leftover that they get rid of. And espresso makers that sit on a gas hob or a hot plate use substantially more energy than a capsule device does.

It is concurred that if aluminium capsules are completely and extensively recyclable, they would certainly be better for the environment than plastic ones (even if plastic ones are likewise extensively recycled). Having said that, the most current Quantis research recommends that producing plastic pods uses less energy than making aluminium ones, so unless the latter are more widely recycled, then plastic capsules might come out much better after all.

If you toss a compostable capsule into your green bin it will end up at the community incineration plant, there is no advantage to it being compostable. Producing the compostable capsule contaminates as much or even more than producing a plastic one.

Nevertheless, if compostable capsules are not thrown away in the routine bin collection cycle but put into unique bins that are taken to compost or, even much better, to biomethanisation facilities, then they are better than aluminium or plastic ones (even if both of these are commonly recycled), the problem is, presently it’s seldom the case.

Of course, capsules being better than the majority of other coffee-making methods does not remove the fundamental truth that any item that produces waste postures an environmental problem.

Ideally you have actually seen that it is more frightening and complex than you thought. Every action and choice you make has consequences, both environmental and otherwise. It’s just a concern of which lesser caffeinated evil you choose.

They are a company that has provided Nespresso pods for many years, with more information at this link. In addition check out a good blog on compostable Nespresso pods. They were one of the first to provide plastic-free Nespresso-compatible coffee pods.