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Is There Such a Thing as Recyclable Coffee Pods?

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You’re probably aware that plastic comes in many forms. You may also be aware a lot of work is happening to try and recycle and reuse plastic as much as possible. The year following the carrier bag ban saw 83% fewer plastic bags used across England’s top seven retailers alone. This shows that when hard work is put in, good things can happen.

The same applies with coffee pods – arguably one of the more problematic plastic items to recycle. The plastic used in these pods is usually either unable to be recycled or only partly so. The lid is often made from a different type of plastic to the pod itself – causing further problems.

The introduction of the home coffee pod machine has transformed many a morning, as millions will confirm. Yet there is a guilt factor involved with these pods. While some might throw them away without a second thought, others feel bad about doing so. But could we be closer to buying recyclable coffee pods than we may think?

Some companies are already putting arrangements in place to allow consumers to recycle their used coffee pods. Nespresso has a collection system in place that allows people to bag up to 200 at a time and send them off to be recycled. However, this does mean having somewhere to keep that many used pods without cluttering up the kitchen.

Another option – and a better one – would be to opt for compostable coffee pods. Several coffee purveyors are already selling these, although not all pods are compatible with all machines. Therefore, some coffee machine owners may be willing to switch to compostable or recyclable pods but cannot do so because they cannot find anything that will work in their machine.

This is likely to change as more companies begin making compostable pods. Indeed, this seems to be the better option when compared to the hassle involved with some recycling options. However, compostable designs take time to develop. The pod itself must be proven to compost down suitably, while remaining structurally sound before the coffee pod is used. Similarly, the coffee inside cannot become tainted by whatever materials are used.

The challenge of recyclable coffee pods may therefore run for a good while yet. However, it is reassuring that these pods are moving in the right direction when it comes to enjoying the next stage in their complex little lives.

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