Are Coffee Pods Recyclable?

If you’re asking whether it’s possible for your average coffee pod to be recycled, the simple answer is yes. It can.

IT'S NOT QUITE THAT SIMPLE...

Unfortunately, when it comes to sizing up the ecological impact of these seemingly green products, it’s a little more complex—as we’ll soon discover. 

Indeed, the majority of coffee pods on the market are comprised of plastic, aluminium, paper and organic material—the coffee itself. As a result, these components can be separated, sorted and recycled responsibly like any other reusable product.

The solutions

If for some reason you aren’t able to recycle your pods by traditional methods, there are other options available to you. While some countries or towns might carry restrictions for collecting certain plastics and metals, there are online resources out there to help you find your closest recycling centre. 

There are also many companies, including the coffee pod manufacturers themselves, that will recycle your used coffee pods for you.

Coffee pod recycling schemes

Some types of coffee pods—and other tricky-to-recycle items—can be collected for recycling by a company called TerraCycle.

There’s also a new nationwide scheme called Podback that offers a recycling service currently collecting pods from a whole host of recognized brands, including Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo. 

So far, so good.

Are pods biodegradable?

Although these products can be recycled, sadly, there are other issues to consider. One of the major flaws with these types of pods is that some users will simply toss them in the rubbish without attempting to recycle them—or, equally as unproductive, throw the entire pod into the recycling bin without separating it properly first. Both of these approaches are ultimately fruitless endeavors, with the worst case scenario being that the pod isn’t recycled at all. 

Another disadvantage for the majority of these types of pods is that, while they can be recycled, precious few are biodegradable. Only a select few pods can be popped into your home composter to let nature do its thing.

The Coffee Pods solution

Luckily, at Coffee Pods, we have found the answer. Our pods, both the lid and pod itself, are made using a by-product of sugar cane, meaning they are fully compostable. 

While your average coffee pod might have noble aspirations of being eco-friendly, and will be advertised as such, they simply will not degrade organically in your domestic garden and food waste bins. 

Instead, industrial compostable pods will generally find long-term residence in the landfill. Or, meet a quick end in the incinerator. Neither a particularly green conclusion to a coffee pod’s lifecycle. 

That’s where Coffee Pods come in. Our 100% organic pods will decompose into fertiliser within 4-6 weeks. As an added ecological benefit, our pods will also release nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil—great news for your vegetables and plants.

So, there you have it. The majority of coffee pods can be recycled. But, if you’re looking for a fully-natural, 100% compostable pod, that won’t spend a lifetime slowly breaking down in a landfill site, Coffee Pods have just the product for you!

Find out more about our commitment to sustainability by reading  Our Story

Posted on June 29th 2021

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