Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are infiltrating our supermarket shelves, however are they truly good for the world?

Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are infiltrating our supermarket shelves, however are they truly good for the world?

Welcome to our daily blog on pods. One will discover a great deal of intriguing facts, so we really hope. Other interesting posts on compostable coffee pods are for instance from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. Or read our related article on Nespresso-compatible pods.

Ever been fooled by a synthetic floral arrangement? Ever marvelled at the foliage just to find that (upon closer evaluation) the bouquet is in fact a fraud? Greenwashing works in a really comparable way - brands harnessing deceptive marketing to persuade you that an item is environmentally friendly and for that reason "much better for the environment".

Regretfully, much of these organizations presume consumers have their head in the sand, and in the coffee pods industry in particular, we're certainly seeing these type of marketing methods on the rise. Encouraging words like "recyclable", "biodegradable", "plant based" and "compostable" truly put your mind at ease, right? However on a practical level, what do these terms actually imply and are they in fact as good as they sound?

We get that often it's easiest to pop your first option in the shopping trolley and individuals are certainly trying their best to make the ideal choices, so it's far from fair that daily shoppers are being misinformed.

Don't be fooled by sly advertising methods or confusing terms and labelling - we have actually compiled the details you need to avoid being greenwashed. Are the coffee pods you're utilizing in fact "green"? Let's discover.

Phony environment-friendly items: Are your coffee capsules sustainable?

Many cluey customers are ending up being savvy to the fact that the solution that is "recyclable" coffee pods isn't as simple and wonderful as we've been led to believe. The procedure of recycling capsules is neither hassle-free nor kind to the environment.

For numerous consumers, the rigmarole around recycling their pods prevents them from following through - it has actually been said that of the 13,500 capsule coffees taken in every minute, just 21% make it through to the recycling procedure. Some brands require to be dropped at particular collection points, posted directly to the company, or even need dismantling and cleaning up before the elements can be recycled independently - overall, the procedure is extremely energy-intensive.

Possibly because of this, the former Nespresso CEO approximates the around the world rate of recycling for coffee pods to be less than 5%. Moreover, with the energy required to transfer and process the capsules in a recycling center, is this really a sustainable choice at all, or just a bandaid option for a much bigger issue?

Eventually, the problem is not whether they can be recycled or not. Naturally it is better to recycle something than not, however the bottom line is that it's much better to not produce the waste at all.

Issue = Recyclable pods can not be recycled via domestic bins + the recycling process has a high carbon footprint

Recycling coffee pods is a bandaid option for a much larger waste concern

To start with, when it pertains to pods what does "plant-based" even mean, and what's it got to finish with how the capsule is disposed of? To the average person, it sure noises wholesome, positive and beautiful - however are they a much better choice than disposable, plastic pods?

Well, the main claim you'll typically discover here is that part of the pod product packaging includes specific portion of plant-based material. Often, the products will be derived from a renewable resource, such as corn or sugarcane. If you look carefully, frequently these are also labelled as "degradable". Here's the kicker: degradable is not to be confused with naturally degradable, because anything that is degradable will not totally break down into the soil when it winds up in landfill. Rather, it develops into small pieces of plastic that will never break down, contributing to the micro plastics concern we're currently battling in our waterways and oceans.

Basically, when these end up in land fill or our environment, they cause more harm than good. In our humble opinion? This is most likely not a fantastic option.

Video: Sustainable and Nespresso-compatible Pods by Moving Beans.

Issue = The majority of plant-based pods simply deteriorate into small micro plastics

Compostable/ naturally degradable coffee pods made from plant-based materials like corn and sugarcane

Biodegradable and compostable - they're kind of the same, however kind of ... not. With sustainability "patterns" on the increase, compostable and naturally degradable coffee pod choices are now plentiful.

Let's break this down (pun planned): Products that compost or biodegrade can certainly be fantastic for reducing waste, if disposed of properly. Nevertheless, just because a product is labelled as "compostable", it does not necessarily indicate that it will break down in your home compost.

Usually, coffee pods made entirely of bioplastics require industrial composting (industrially heats, wetness levels, and UV light) to decompose within any sensible time frame. Even still, these products can leave behind micro-fragments and poisonous residues.

It's a little-known reality that, regrettably, it's not likely your home composting system has what it takes to break down your biodegradable pods. Some councils supply industrial composting through their kerbside green waste collection, nevertheless they might forbid products labelled compostable or naturally degradable, so it's important that you double-check. Always be sure to consult your regional council to see if they accept bioplastic first before getting rid of.

If you were after a coffee pod that's safe to put straight in your garden compost bin, we can comprehend how this could be confusing. Some red flags to keep an eye out for (in small print on the back of packaging, or at the really base/footer of a site) are lines like:
" They are recyclable and biodegradable, however not compostable."
" In order for compostable capsules to break down in 90 days, capsules should be processed through a commercial composting facility." or
" Please call your regional council prior to disposing in your green bin."

When it comes to compostable products in general, preferably you wish to look for items that are Australian licensed as "Home Compostable" by the Australian Bioplastics Association, guaranteeing they're identified as safe for garden composts, are made from vegetable product and are plastic free - phew!

Key takeaway? Always research and read the fine print on how to compost each brand name prior to you buy if it feels and looks like plastic.

Issue = The majority of compostable & naturally degradable pods need industrial composting centers to breakdown

Bioplastic coffee pods: Sustainable, or greenwash? If they look like plastic, think twice

As you know, every product needs basic materials to be mined/grown/manufactured, processed, packaged, and shipped. This is quite an energy-hungry, short life for a such a small portion of coffee. The energy output of production is so excellent, that no single-use item can compare to a multiple-use item - even if it's recyclable, compostable, or naturally degradable.

When it comes to a pre-portioned pack of coffee, recyclable capsules get this. The more your pod is reused, the more sustainable each cuppa.

Aside from having the ability to select your favourite brand of coffee, there's one more secret benefit to filling your own pods: it's far more affordable than purchasing disposable pods. So if you're on a tight budget plan, purchase a pack of reusables and see your cost savings roll in.

In stating this, when it concerns multiple-use, it's still essential to be greenwash-aware. Something to keep in mind when shopping for any recyclable product, is that quality and durability are essential - cheaper, regrettably is seldom "much better". Some warnings to keep an eye out for:
Lightweight plastic multiple-use pods with an incredibly limited life expectancy (e.g. 30 uses).
Plastic recyclable pods that are not BPA complimentary, food safe etc.
Recyclable pods that come packaged in plastic.
Pods from any organization or website that does not provide any information on it's sustainability practices (even if an item is "naked" on the shelf, does not indicate it's upstream supply chain was pollution-free).

We are a market challenger that has provided compostable coffee pods for a very long time, with much more insights at the website of Moving Beans. Or go through an interesting blog on compostable Nespresso-compatible pods. We were the first to sell truly compostable Nespresso-compatible coffee pods.


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