Convenience is another factor which has driven the entire single serve movement. Until now, the consequences for convenience were billions of plastic cups in the nation’s landfills. With PURPOD100™, once the coffee is brewed, the entire coffee pod can be composted in a commercial composting facility to become nutrients back to the soil.
PURPOD100™ also address another key shortcoming of the status quo single serve coffee. Research says that coffee drinkers have felt they sacrifice coffee flavor for convenience with single serve coffee. Single serve coffee in the PURPOD100™ brew more like traditional coffee because of the shape of the filter that allows water to permeate through the grounds more fully, brewing a full flavored cup.
The PURPOD100™ format brings back the full aromatic experience of making coffee back to the morning. It’s on par with grinding beans and traditionally brewing. Before, when brewing single serve plastic cups, the aroma is missing until the coffee is in the cup.
The typical landfill site is intentionally designed so waste won’t get the water, sunlight or oxygen that they would need to break down. This means that, just like organic waste and food waste, 100% compostable pods will decompose very slowly. This is a key reason for the increasing push for food waste diversion through composting. We can convert food waste and yard waste into compost that goes back to the land, not the landfill.
Recycling a coffee pod is neither convenient nor practical for consumers or recycling-processors to separate. Even if consumers would do the separation of materials or recycling processors would retrofit their equipment to fit the small plastic cups, recycling in this case could only address 10% of the waste in a pod.
In this situation of organic material in close contact with a small amount of packaging, as a single serve coffee pod, composting is the only practical and convenient solution – practical in that it deals with the entire waste stream and convenient in that it doesn’t require additional consumer effort.
Recycling is certainly great and has kept billions of pounds of materials out of the landfill. But to manufacture a recyclable item most often requires virgin material in many cases, particularly plastics. (Steel cans like those used for canned coffee do not require virgin material as steel is infinitely recyclable.) Beyond that, recycling requires a great deal of energy as far as sorting, transporting, and re-synthesizing into new materials or items. And even then, there tends to be a downside. For example, with plastic: yes many plastics are recyclable but they need to be sorted and then once they are at a point of re-synthesis the plastic goes through a downgrade so a food grade plastic used for a container is no longer food grade once it goes through the recycling process. There’s a loss of value there.
By contrast, composting is best for the environment. Composting requires very little energy inputs. Simple churning or shredding at the compost site facilitates the natural process of decomposition. Furthermore, composting upgrades the components from organic waste to nutrient rich amendments for soil.