Coffee Capsules: Are They Good or Bad? - NO HARM DONE
If you’re reading this you most likely love coffee and perhaps even have it daily. While it’s important to have a delicious coffee, have you wondered: are coffee capsules good for the environment? Let’s find out.
What Are Coffee Capsules Made Of?
There are three main materials used for coffee capsules - Plastic, Aluminium and Corn Starch/plant based (compostable).
Are Plastic Coffee Capsules Bad?
To start off let's take a look at plastic coffee capsules. Majority of coffee capsules are made with plastic. Plastic capsules are usually not recyclable. These little pods are cheap and easy to make, but they never degrade. They will simply sit in our landfills and rot for centuries.
Some plastic capsules can be recycled, but most facilities can't recycle them. They're either too small to be processed, or consumers don't take the time to take the capsules apart and clean them before disposing of them.
Furthermore plastic coffee capsules are bad for your health. According to Wellness Mama, plastic coffee capsules can cause “endocrine disruptors and may contribute to hormone imbalance, weight gain and fertility problems”.
Are Aluminium Coffee Capsules Bad?
Next we have aluminium capsules. Aluminium capsules are better than plastic, but they’re still not a great choice. Some aluminium pods are recyclable. However, not all of them are.
You must pay attention to which type you buy and how they must be recycled. Do they need to be taken apart? Can they only be recycled at certain facilities? Is there a facility near you? And even if they are recyclable, do they have to be emptied first? These can be hard to keep track of when trying to simply enjoy a cup of coffee.
Are aluminium coffee capsules better than plastic capsules for your health? Well, not exactly. According to Wellness Mama, “aluminum exposure has been linked to Alzheimers, depression, anxiety, autism and even autoimmune disease.”
Due to all these complications aluminium capsules are not the best type of coffee capsules.
What’s The Best Type Of Coffee Capsule?
This leads us to the last, and best, choice: compostable/biodegradable capsules. These pods are the best for the environment. You don't need to take them apart or clean them. They are 100% compostable, which means you can simply dispose of them in your compost pile or take them to an industrial composting centre. Some pods will even break down in about five weeks! This will significantly reduce your carbon footprint, and you don't have to do anything special to them. Just use them like normal and place them in the compost bin.
So, if you want to do what's best for your health and the environment, start buying compostable or biodegradable coffee pods. They provide the same, smooth cup of coffee without a massive carbon footprint. A wide variety of coffees can be purchased with compostable coffee capsules, so you can still get quality coffee with a variety of roasts that meet your caffeine needs. You can also be rest assured that you're making the best possible choice for your health and the environment. What's not to love?
Not sure where to get compostable coffee capsules in Singapore? Check out our compostable capsules that help pay farmers fair wages! You get to help yourself, the planet and others!
References for you
- Cover image credits: https://theconversation.com/what-our-love-affair-with-coffee-pods-reveals-about-our-values-30068