Why our new pods are better.
We completely believe in involving all of you in our journey to become the world's most sustainable coffee pod business. Whilst we thought for a while that our previous, industrially home-compostable pods were the best on the market - we uncovered something that blew it out of the water.
Our new pods are made out of a polymer called PHA. This is the final frontier in the world of bioplastics, offering the most viable and sustainable alternative to single-use products.
This product will break down anywhere on earth, meaning it is also a much better option than industrially home-compostable pods - instead of requiring conditions such as temperatures of 60 degrees.
What is PHA?
Our pods are constructed from bacterial fermentation, being wholly organic and biodegradable.
Although this doesn't sound too sexy, this is the most revolutionary technology in the coffee pod world since Nespresso first dropped their aluminium pods
These bacteria are able to produce a substance that displays different characteristics depending on what they are fed, in turn altering the PHA that is produced.
Our particular PHA is perfect for home-compostable coffee pods as it observes the characteristics of plastics in regard to physical structure/robustness and being able to preserve the freshness of the coffee. This was key as we did not want to lose any quality in the coffee you receive.
However unlike plastics which can take up to 500 years to break down - under conditions that are found in home composts, only needing temperatures of 30 degrees, they will decompose without any harmful by-products quicker than garden grass cuttings!
It is worth saying that this is on the more cautious side of UK home compost conditions, meaning that in many households, Grind pods will break down in an even shorter period of time.
Why now do you ask?
It is completely obvious that there is a serious plastic pollution crisis across the world. They're causing countless issues across the planet - polluting and destroying marine ecosystems across the world. The use of fossil fuels to manufacture plastics also expends a great amount of emissions. However they are a fantastically useful material - so why not use a process that gives us plastic similar objects, without the countless negative impacts on the environment? That's what brought us to using PHA's. They occur in nature and can be harvested from renewable sources - as well as being totally compatible in the carbon cycle. Their sustainability benefits have never been doubted, with cost being seen as the only preventing measure into their widespread use. However, we believe in offering a product that does not cut corners, purely seeking favourable profit margins - instead offering quality and long term benefit for everyone.
Why is this better than Nespresso?
Well, where do we start? If we listed all of the answers to this, the number at the bottom of the page would get so high you'd be so shocked you would just close the tab and then you would miss out on the endless benefits of switching over to Grind Home-compostable pods.
So, let's scratch the surface. The extraction process is obscenely energy intensive and environmentally degrading. We have an abundance of aluminium in the world, at current rates of extraction of 130 million tons of bauxite per annum (the ore from which aluminium comes), it would take 400 years for this to be fully extracted. That of course appears positive, yet it masks what is a highly ecologically damaging process. A vast amount of energy, water and resources are exploited to produce aluminium at what is a highly inefficient production of 1 ton of aluminium from 4 tons of bauxite. Due to its stability as an element, an extortionate amount of energy is needed to electrolyse the ore and requires a vast quantity of smelting produced by coal use – bad news. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sees perfluorocarbons as 9200 times more harmful than C02 in relation to their effect on climate change to the environment – really bad news.
Not only does the process require so much energy, the primary impacts it has on its immediate flora and fauna is highly destructive. It removes all native vegetation, reducing biodiversity and sustenance for local species populations – before the runoff seeps into aquifers and local water sources causing severe water pollution. If you would like to read further into the multiple negative impacts of aluminium use and extraction, please follow this link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24202562/
Although Nespresso will shout about how infinitely recyclable aluminium is, this in reality does not take place. As a percentage of pods that go to landfill - Nespresso themselves estimate that only 29% are being recycled - 71% is a ridiculously high number given that 14 billion Nespresso pods are sold per year. We greatly believe in the convenience of drinking coffee pods, but this really does not need to come at the expense of the planet. Our purpose is to benefit all of our stakeholders, and harming the environment does not fit with our values.
How do I dispose of my pods?
If you do not have a home compost, they are incredibly simple and easy to purchase and set up . This can cost as little as £30 pounds (if you do not have an outside area), or by following the link you can see the ease of setting up a home compost in your back garden.
Please find attached a link on how to home compost: How to Home Compost
For whatever reason you are not able to do this, our pods break down in a number of weeks if disposed of in a council-approved food waste collection bin. The pods are subsequently used to create waste energy, although in order to guarantee the least amount of emissions, we do advise to go down the home compost route!
If worst comes to worst, and Grind Home-compostable coffee pods do make their way into landfill or other end of life waste streams, our pods will break down in ambient environments such as marine sediment or in landfill. Although we strongly encourage the suggested methods of disposal, if this were to happen, this is infinitely more beneficial than plastic and aluminium alternatives.
How do I check if my council collects food waste?
Ultimately, the incredibly varied and mad recycling requirements and facilities provided by the different UK councils means there is little consistency in how your food and garden waste is processed. To help you out with this, we have linked the Thankfully this is something the Government is looking into as part of their Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England.
Find your local council services here
Are the pods certified and will they stay fresh?
Our pods are TUV Austria OK Home Compost certified - the first to be created with PHA technology. This takes into account a number of factors and the impact the pods have on the environment as they break down. As opposed to plant based pods, ours will maintain their shelf life and freshness until they are disposed of. Through an oxygen prevention barrier, which can only be pierced in your machine, the pods will maintain their quality and not go off.
We believe not only in our product, but also in being as transparent as possible. Due to the revolutionary nature of our pods, we are currently conducting academically verified research from cradle to grave of the product. This will be a thorough Life Cycle Assessment that will allow us to fully quantify the environmental impact of our pods from farm to your disposal.