Exploring Compostable v Biodegradable Coffee Pods

Exploring Compostable v Biodegradable Coffee Pods

Trying to be environmentally friendly can be confusing. Terms like compostable and biodegradable are often misused, making it hard for consumers to navigate between the two. So what's the difference between compostable coffee pods and biodegradable coffee pods? First, we need to know the definition of each. 

Compostable Coffee Pods Definition

Compostable means that a product will break down in a specific time frame and under certain conditions. These items should be placed in a food and waste cart. 

Coffee pods that are compostable will break down in approximately 8 weeks. This will then be turned into valuable soil to give back to the ecosystem. Typically, coffee compostable pods are made from plant-based materials with an aluminum foil lid to keep the coffee fresh. 

So are compostable coffee pods really compostable? Yes and no. The lids on your compostable coffee pods should only be recycled, while the pods should be thrown into your green waste bin where they will be taken to a composting facility. 

Biodegradable Coffee Pods Definition

Biodegradable means a product will break down so small that microorganisms can consume it. Since this can take up to several years, products like these should be disposed of in the garbage. 

Biodegradable coffee pods for Nespresso are commonly made out of plastic material with an aluminum foil lid to keep the coffee tasting fresh.

These biodegradable coffee capsules are designed to break down in approximately 2 years (without the aluminum lid). You can also rinse your pods out, throw them into a larger recyclable container, and toss them in your recycling bin. 

Common Misconception: Compostable vs Biodegradable

When most consumers see their coffee pods labeled as ‘biodegradable and compostable’, they think they can put their pods into their own composting bins, assuming they will break down in landfill. This is a huge misconception as the pods need to be sent to an industrial facility to be properly broken down. 

Some consumers love the 100% compostable coffee pods, but don’t purchase them because they don’t regularly compost. However, if compostable coffee pods end up in a landfill, it is far better for the environment than if plastic ones do. 

So while biodegradable coffee pods are compostable, they take much longer to break down, and a lot of cities haven’t adjusted to this kind of waste. It is best to purchase coffee pods that are compostable to remain environmentally friendly and experience a better-tasting cup of coffee. 

Buy Biodegradable Coffee Pods & Compostable Coffee Pods with Tripod Coffee

At Tripod Coffee, it is our goal to lead the industry in sustainable coffee practices. Our Nespresso compatible coffee pods are 100% compostable, produced in Australia with nothing but the future of our beautiful planet in mind.

Join our sustainable coffee movement and help us protect the environment one compostable coffee pod at a time.