Which coffee pod capsule brands are the most eco friendly?

Keen on a pod coffee machine but concerned about the environment? Nespresso and Lavazza offer the best eco-friendly pod.

Single-use coffee capsule pods, made by brands such as Dolce Gusto, Nespresso and Tassimo are the up most convenience, dispensing a perfectly accurate dose of coffee at the touch of a button.

They have become massively  popular, so much so that coffee capsules were added to the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) typical basket of goods, used to calculate inflation 3 years ago.

But these single-use systems have been causing a growing environmental headache, thanks to their throwaway pod design and the the obvious news about climate change hitting the headlines every 5 minutes.

Consumers are now coming to conclusion that its best for there own survival and consonance that they want to find out which pod brand is better for recycling or composting.  The majority of the time, Nespresso and Lavazza come off fairly well, while the worst offenders are Lilly.

The pods are usually made from plastic or aluminium, or a mix of both which can be problematic as mixed materials are difficult to recycle and sort at recycling centres. These materials can take up to 500 years to decompose naturally in landfill and may leak toxic chemicals back in to the water system.

Some pods can be technically recyclable, but you need to empty, dismantle, and clean them properly before they can go in your household recycling bin, which defeats the object of a quick and easy brew.

Pod brands and recycling

Some coffee capsule brands have set up recycling schemes, but these often come with major headaches attached and aren’t always convenient to arrange your life around it.

Dolce Gusto’s recycling service, for example, is only available to those who buy direct from the Dolce Gusto website.

Tassimo has partnered with TerraCycle to offer a drop-off recycling service for its pods, but drop-off points are so few and far between that in some parts of the country you’d need to drive for hours to reach one.

Compostable capsules on the rise

The great news is that a growing number of smaller, independent coffee companies are bringing out compo-stable pods.

These are mostly for use with Nespresso machines, but Lavazza also sells a compostable pod, and recently announced plans to make its entire capsule range compostable from September 2019.

Compostable pods are made of biodegradable materials such as corn starch, sugarcane and even thistle, which mimic the properties of plastic and break down over time. They fall into two categories:

  • Garden compostable pods: These capsules can be put onto your garden compost bin or heaps, and most will decompose within three to six months. These are the most convenient for most people with gardens.
  • Commercial  compostable pods: These capsules need to go in your food waste  collection (usually operated by your local council although it’s not available in all areas),they will then be taken to specialist recycling centres where they can be properly recycled.

Dolce gusto pod holder with pods

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