Quick Recipes and Easy

Coffee Pods – What a Waste

Coffee pods are the latest “must have” in the coffee industry. Each serve is individually wrapped to ensure freshness and consistency. But in these times of environmental awareness has anyone thought about land fill waste?

What is a coffee pod?

A coffee pod is a single serve of coffee that can be placed into a coffee machine with an adapted handle. Each dose is exactly the same and the wrapping ensures freshness. There are 2 main types of coffee pod; the ESE compatible tea bag style sealed in foil and the plastic pod that looks similar to a small UHT milk part. Each time you use a pod you generate a significant amount of non-recyclable waste, both in the pod and the wrapping.

What are the alternatives?

There are many more environmentally friendly alternatives. Plunger coffee and traditional espresso machines only leave the ground coffee behind. This is fantastic place straight onto your garden as a fertilizer or mulch. From a 1kg plastic bag of coffee you can get 140 single serves. That’s saving 140 individual pods and pod wrappings. There’s a huge range of fully automatic coffee machines that grind the whole beans for each cup. This is really fresher and tastes better than a pod as the coffee is freshly ground.

Coffee pods also cost about 3 times as much per serve for a product that’s not fresh as a bean-to-cup machine.

What do I reckon?

I’ve been watching others use coffee pods for about 15 years now. I was first exposed to a Lavazza Blue machine at my uncles wedding. I was told at the time that these pods were the next huge thing. I remember looking at a bin full of used coffee pods and coffee pod wrappings and thinking “this will never take off. Who wants all that waste?”

How incorrect I was, coffee pods are now very well loved. I even sell them on my website. I’ve also had the opportunity to get involved in selling and promoting pod machines and pod solutions to offices. While I’m pleased to sell pods to those that want them I’ve refused to actively promote them over freshly ground machines. Whenever possible I talk people around to bean-to-cup machines.

We already have enough problems with landfill and there’s no way I’m leaving another million coffee pod wrappers for my children. It’s up to each of us to make decisions that benefit future generations.

Jim Storey is the owner of coffeemachine.com.au Coffee Machine Express, Australia’s largest on-line coffee machine store. Jim learned coffee when working in a desk job and never went back to his desk. For further information please visit coffeemachine.com.au coffeemachine.com.au

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