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  • Charlie Sykes


Coffee pods are a quick and easy way we can all enjoy our morning coffee. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of households turning to coffee capsules on a daily basis, with the market growing substantially. However, most of us aren’t thinking about their impact on the environment when reaching for our caffeine fix. A few years ago, you may have heard news about how the use of coffee pods are detrimental to our environment, with billions of these capsules ending up in landfill each year.

The problem with coffee pods is that they take 150 to 500 years to break down in landfill. Due to the fact that these capsules are made from a combination of plastics, aluminium and organic matter inside, they are not biodegradable. With Australians consuming an average of 3 million coffee pods a day, this is a lot of waste sent to landfill.

More recently, the Australian Government has provided funding towards a new recycling scheme for coffee capsules, led by the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation. The funding will go towards the development of an industry-wide national product stewardship scheme for all coffee capsules available on the domestic market. This new scheme is said to be a critical step in raising recycling rates, reducing organic material in landfill and increasing access to collection points for a growing waste stream. The fund is a part of the Australian Government’s new $167 million Australian Recycling Investment Plan and National Waste Policy Action Plan which is aimed at increasing Australia’s recycling rates, tackling plastic waste and litter and halving food waste by 2030.

What is great about this project is that it enables Australians to still enjoy their quick and easy home-made coffee knowing that the product’s end-of-lifecycle is being managed responsibly. It will now be easier for us all to make sustainable choices as more convenient options are put in place for us to drop off our used coffee pods.

Innovative solutions like the Coffee Pod recycling initiative also contributes to the support for the development of a circular economy. As consumers we know that we can make a positive difference for our environment in collectively participating in this scheme!

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