Coffee Pods

Go Green – The greenest choice is to take your own cup to a cafĂ© or purchase a coffee machine where beans are used in bulk so that no throw-away pods are used. The German city of Hamburg has banned coffee pods from government-run buildings in an attempt to be more environmentally conscious.

Why?

Australians consume around 3 million single-serve coffee pods every single day – and they are too small to be sorted correctly in the current recycling system. Millions of kilograms of aluminium and plastic have ended up in landfills since coffee pods came onto the market. Aluminium’s production is energy-intensive, and thus the material should be reused or recycled whenever possible.

Use Discretion – If you already have a machine that uses pods, recycle coffee pods through:

  • Pod collection by a company called TerraCycle, whose mission is to divert hard-to-recycle waste from landfills.
  • Nespresso also sells pre-paid Australia Post satchels consumers can send back to the company for recycling, with up to 130 capsules at a time
Stop – Throwing coffee pods into landfill bins – see above! Even so-called biodegradable pods are not a good idea – they are highly unlikely to get to an industrial composting facility which is needed to break them down and in landfill they contribute to methane production.