Coffee magnate Lavazza announced yesterday it is releasing its range of one-pot coffee pods in recyclable materials from this week.
The consumption of coffee is paramount to the productivity of those who rely on it across the world. Whether it’s instant, brewed or pressed, the zingy lift which coffee offers its drinkers is a welcome encouragement to get them through the day. A solution to shaving off precious minutes in a busy office environment is the one-pot coffee pod. These may seem like an insignificant piece of rubbish individually but the collective amount of waste these minuscule plastic mites have produced over the years is now substantial.
An estimated 20bn coffee capsules are consumed globally every year, enough to circle the world 14 times. These little pods typically end up in landfill where they can take over 500 years to decompose. A big reason for this is the problematic composition of how the pods are manufactured;. In a variety of plastic, aluminium and foil, over 72% of UK consumers admit they are confused as to how they should be recycled, so inevitably throw them in the bin.
So the news from Italian coffee giant Lavazza, one of the largest manufacturers on the planet that, as off this week, it has started rolling out its pod production with an entirely recyclable range, is a welcome one. At the same cost to its end consumer, it is hoping to have its ‘Eco Caps’ on all store shelves by the end of the year. These pods will be able to be thrown in with compostable food waste for local authority collection and break down into compost in as little as six months.
This move by a global brand is the first time a major coffee manufacturer has taken significant steps to combating the waste created by the pods. Although rival coffee giant Nespresso offers to take back used aluminium pods from it’s consumers, the announcement by Lavazza could prove pioneering to the rest of the industry. Similar innovations have been championed by smaller brands looking to tackle their coffee podprint. Coffee company Halo for instance use Sugar Cane & Paper Pulp to create their eco-friendly pods.
It’s great to see a huge conglomerate who contribute large numbers of non-recyclable waste in such vast numbers tackle assertive action to tackling the climate crisis. Hopefully we’ll see some hemp paper pods on the market soon!