Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are penetrating our grocery store shelves, however are they really helpful for the planet?

Green or sustainable? Bioplastics are penetrating our grocery store shelves, however are they really helpful for the planet?

Welcome to our everyday post on biodegradable pods. You can discover a great deal of intriguing insights, so we hope. Other interesting websites on sustainable coffee capsules are for instance from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. In addition browse our interesting blog on compostable Nespresso-compatible pods.

Ever been deceived by an artificial flower arrangement? Ever marvelled at the foliage just to discover that (upon closer assessment) the arrangement is in reality a scams? Greenwashing operate in a very comparable way - brand names harnessing misleading marketing to encourage you that a product is eco-friendly and for that reason "much better for the environment".

Unfortunately, a number of these services assume consumers have their head in the sand, and in the coffee pods industry in particular, we're certainly seeing these kinds of marketing methods growing. Reassuring words like "recyclable", "eco-friendly", "plant based" and "compostable" actually put your mind at ease? However on an useful level, what do these terms really imply and are they really as good as they sound?

We get that in some cases it's easiest to pop your first option in the shopping trolley and people are certainly attempting their finest to make the right options, so it's far from reasonable that daily shoppers are being misled.

Don't be fooled by sly advertising strategies or complicated terminology and labelling - we've compiled the info you require to avoid being greenwashed. So, are the coffee pods you're using really "green"? Let's learn.

Fake eco-friendly items: Are your coffee capsules sustainable?

A lot of cluey consumers are becoming savvy to the fact that the service that is "recyclable" coffee pods isn't wonderful and as simple as we've been led to believe. Regrettably, the procedure of recycling capsules is neither convenient nor kind to the environment.

For many consumers, the rigmarole around recycling their pods prevents them from following through - it has actually been said that of the 13,500 capsule coffees consumed every minute, only 21% make it through to the recycling process. Some brands need to be dropped at particular collection points, posted straight to the business, or perhaps require disassembling and cleaning before the elements can be recycled separately - general, the procedure is highly energy-intensive.

Maybe because of this, the former Nespresso CEO approximates the worldwide rate of recycling for coffee pods to be less than 5%. Additionally, with the energy needed to transport and process the capsules in a recycling center, is this genuinely a sustainable choice at all, or simply a bandaid solution for a much larger concern?

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

Problem = Recyclable pods can not be recycled by means of domestic bins + the recycling process has a high carbon footprint

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

When it comes to pods what does "plant-based" even indicate, and what's it got to do with how the capsule is disposed of? To the typical individual, it sure sounds wholesome, favorable and lovely - however are they a much better option than non reusable, plastic pods?

Well, the primary claim you'll typically discover here is that part of the pod packaging consists of specific portion of plant-based product. Rather, it turns into tiny pieces of plastic that will never break down, contributing to the micro plastics issue we're currently battling in our waterways and oceans.

Basically, when these wind up in landfill or our environment, they trigger more harm than great. In our modest opinion? This is probably not a great option.

Issue = The bulk of plant-based pods simply deteriorate into little micro plastics

Compostable/ eco-friendly coffee pods made from plant-based materials like corn and sugarcane

This is where things get made complex. Biodegradable and compostable - they're sort of the exact same, however sort of ... not. With sustainability "trends" increasing, eco-friendly and compostable coffee pod options are now abundant. Packaged wonderfully with "greener" messaging playing a key function, they sure do look fantastic on the outside.

But let's break this down (pun meant): Products that compost or biodegrade can definitely be fantastic for lowering waste, if gotten rid of correctly. Just due to the fact that an item is identified as "compostable", it doesn't necessarily mean that it will break down in your house compost.

Normally, coffee pods made completely of bioplastics need commercial composting (industrially heats, moisture levels, and UV light) to decompose within any affordable timespan. Even still, these products can leave poisonous and behind micro-fragments residues.

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

It's an obscure fact that, sadly, it's unlikely your house 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 restrict items labelled biodegradable or compostable, so it's vital that you double-check. Always make sure to contact your local council to see if they accept bioplastic first before getting rid of.

So if you were after a coffee pod that's safe to put straight in your garden compost bin, we can understand how this could be confusing. Some red flags to watch out for (in fine print on the back of product packaging, or at the very base/footer of a website) are lines like:

" They are eco-friendly and recyclable, however not compostable."

" In order for compostable capsules to break down in 90 days, capsules need to be processed through a commercial composting center." or

" Please call your regional council before getting rid of in your green bin."

When it pertains to compostable products in general, preferably you wish to look for products that are Australian certified as "Home Compostable" by the Australian Bioplastics Association, guaranteeing they're labelled as safe for composts, are made from vegetable product and are plastic complimentary - phew!

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

Issue = A lot of compostable & eco-friendly pods need industrial composting centers to breakdown

Bioplastic coffee pods: Sustainable, or greenwash? Believe twice if they look like plastic

As you know, every item needs basic materials to be mined/grown/manufactured, processed, packaged, and delivered. This is rather an energy-hungry, brief life for a such a small portion of coffee. The energy output of production is so great, that no single-use item can compare to a reusable item - even if it's recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable.

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

Aside from being able to pick your preferred brand name of coffee, there's one more secret perk to filling your own pods: it's far more cost-effective than purchasing non reusable pods. If you're on a tight budget plan, invest in a pack of reusables and watch your cost savings roll in.

In stating this, when it comes to recyclable, it's still essential to be greenwash-aware. Something to keep in mind when searching for any multiple-use item, is that quality and durability are essential - cheaper, sadly is hardly ever "much better". Some red flags to keep an eye out for:

- Flimsy plastic multiple-use pods with an extremely minimal life expectancy (e.g. 30 uses).

- Plastic reusable pods that are not BPA free, food safe and so on

- Reusable pods that come packaged in plastic.

- Pods from any service or site that does not supply any details on it's sustainability practices (even if an item is "naked" on the shelf, doesn't suggest it's upstream supply chain was pollution-free).

We are a start-up that has provided compostable Nespresso-compatible pods for many years, with more insights under Moving Beans. Do go through a related article on coffee pods. We were the first to sell truly sustainable coffee pods.


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