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Coffee Lovers Rejoice! The Coffee Pod is Now Biodegradable!

Coffee Lovers Rejoice, the Coffee Pod is Now Biodegradable!

Over the past few years, single-serve coffee makers have revolutionized the way we drink coffee but they come with a steep price of increased waste as each individual pod goes straight to landfills. However, there may be a solution to our love of the single cup coffee maker as a UK natural plastic developer, Biome Bioplastics, has developed a biodegradable coffee pod. This is just the latest of many great recycling achievements coming out of the UK, which include more biodegradable Medium Density Fiberboards and a machine that recycles shoes.

Every year, it is estimated that 9.1 billion single-serve coffee pods end up in U.S. landfills. The New York Times reports in 2011 alone seven percent of all cups of coffee consumed in the United States were made with a single-serve coffee maker.

The problem is only getting worse as the single-serve coffee maker’s popularity spreads worldwide. In Britain, single-serve coffee makers usage has increased by 45.1% from February 2012 to 2013, resulting in 186 million pods in landfills.

Biome Bioplastics’s new coffee pod is made of a combination of renewable natural resources, including plant starches and tree byproducts. This combination of resources will allow the pod to easily degrade into compost.

Biome Bioplastics CEO, Paul Mines told FoodBev, “The challenge is to reduce environmental impact through packaging optimization without impacting on food quality or safety, or inconveniencing the customer. Bioplastics are an important part of the solution.”

This is great news for coffee lovers who love the efficiency of single-serve coffee makers but hate the waste it produces. Although consumption of coffee looks to be more environmentally friendly, let’s not forget growing coffee itself has environmental impacts!  Until then, enjoy the knowledge that one day soon your coffee pods will make great additions to your compost pile and not your landfill!

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2 comments on “Coffee Lovers Rejoice! The Coffee Pod is Now Biodegradable!”

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4 Years Ago

Biodegradable? Whoppeee. I mean, it's sort of progress. But on the spectrum of reduce, reuse, recycle, recycle is the absolute bottom of the totem pole. Addressing reduce and -- even better -- reduce is what we should really be celebrating. You could make an entire Starbucks out of recycled material, but it's hardly environmentally friendly to produce one from scratch and destroy it with every coffee serving. The environmental cost of mining materials, production, manufacturing, shipping, etc., this stuff in the first place is what's killing us.

4 Years Ago

Hey Brian, good article. You might be interested to know about a California based coffee company called Rogers Family Company that has been producing the OneCup for a few years now and recently moved the product to 97% Bio-Degradable. Great coffee and great for the planet. www.rogersfamilyco.com

21 Mar 2014

Hi Chris - I just bought those from Costco. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find the cups are not completely recyclable. Only the little white ring is. And they are not easy to separate. Hopefully they will make one that I can just toss in the compost. :)

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