Yes. And No... Let us explain.
Nearly all products claiming they are 'compostable' or 'biodegradable' require specific Commercial Composting conditions to decompose. Meaning most 'compostable' products will not end as compost when disposed of in your home composts, landfill, paper, or recycling bins.
As coffee pods are a growing issue in the world of waste, we're tackling the disposal problem head-on.
Most pod companies combat this by either claiming to have "recycling" programs (which are rarely used) or claim 'compostable' with caveats like "you have to peel off the lids first. then find a commercial composting facility."
We embed circular economy thinking in our business: mindful of how our pods and coffee are produced, how they're experienced, how they're disposed, and how they're re-inserted into new supply chains.
- Our product is 100% Australian standard certified compostable (AS 4736), a highly accepted standard for biopolymers. This standard is the most widely accepted by commercial composting facilities. In places like Adelaide and Hobart, household Green Bins accept only certified biopolymers, but in many other major council areas organics food waste and biopolymers are not accepted. If other, unaccepted, items enter composting facilities, they put the facility at risk of batch contamination.
- If you live in an area where your council does not offer food and biopolymer organics recycling, we offer a 'Pod-to-Plant' returns program that guarantees your used pods end as fertiliser.
- The fertiliser from our pods is distributed to NSW Farms and Commercial Nurseries.
What's the future?
We believe the infrastructure for households, Australia-wide, to be able to conveniently compost their food and biopolymer organic waste is 5-8 years away. So in the meantime, we're working with various partners and organisations to help councils and governments align with peoples' demands.
We're also working on a Home Compostable coffee pod as the next generation of Tripod Coffee Pods with a 2-3 year horizon.
So what can you do now?
1. Look for this Australian Compostable Standard Seed Label on any products who claim to be compostable. Tripod Compostable Coffee Pods have this certification.
2. Call your council to understand if your Green Bin accepts AS 4736 BioPolymers (or Bioplastics).
3. If you're unsure, or you know your council doesn't know, add a Pod-to-Plant Reply Label to your purchase.
4. Make sure you send in your used pods and email us if you have any ideas on making the process easier and smoother :)
David from Tripod Coffee
Ps. If you still insist on throwing your used pods in the rubbish bin, ours are still better than aluminium or cheap plastic pods.
The below image is a handful of the fertiliser created from our composted coffee capsule.
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