Coffee Capsules - That Polluting Comfort

coffee capsules?


The law that is being discussed intends that by the year 2020 coffee capsules that are made of plastic or aluminum will not be sold in the Balearic Islands or that, failing that, the marketing companies will take care of their subsequent collection once used and their recycling.

Other products that should stop being sold are plastic plates, cups and cutlery, cotton swabs, plastic straws, lollipop sticks and the like, non-refillable lighters, single-use razors, non-refillable printer toners, and the like. Reusable, or simply the supermarket bags that will have to be made with cellulose.

A Growing Risk To The Environment

Beyond the obvious importance of the rest of the products that will be prohibited by this law, I would like to focus on my experience with coffee capsules since I barely consume any of the other items that will be prohibited by this law.

For some time now, with the popularization of single-dose coffee machines, they have gone from being something exotic to something quite every day in our lives.

According to what I read on the Internet, the sale of capsules has grown by 26% in the last decade and it is estimated that in a short time the sale of single-dose coffee will surpass ground and soluble coffee.

The sale of capsules has grown by 26% in the last decade and it is estimated that in a short time the sale of single-dose coffee will surpass ground and soluble coffee.

I remember many years ago the first day I was offered a capsule coffee at the house of a friend who is very keen on welcoming all innovations (what in modern parlance is called early adopter ).

I fell in love with that wooden box that contained about twenty aluminum capsules of different colors and flavors of coffee, and the convenience of simply putting the capsule in the machine, pressing a button, and having a rich and creamy coffee instantly with absolute cleanliness since nothing was stained and the capsule was stored in a compartment that when full could be emptied in the trash without the slightest fuss, consideration or concern.

And yes, after a few years of having tried the invention and with the rationalization of the prices of the coffee machines that accepted these capsules, I also fell for them and became a user of them.

When a stronger sustainable consciousness woke up in me (I confess, I didn’t always worry about it) I asked myself if throwing those capsules in the trash was sustainable or not, and I quickly realized that it wasn’t at all.

What Do We Do With The Used Capsules?

Starting from the premise that neither the aluminum nor the plastic capsules can be thrown into the recycling container (the yellow one that a priori they should go to) because they contain coffee residues that cannot be easily removed if we want them to be recycled correctly It only remains to take them to the so-called green points or to the places that the sellers of the capsules have established for their collection.

According to a study by the OCU from a few years ago, only 10% of consumers recycle their capsules at appropriate points, which I believe will continue to be quite valid, since from my point of view little is done to promote and facilitate said delivery.

In addition, we must bear in mind that all the capsules come in cardboard containers and that some of the plastic ones are even individually wrapped in a plastic sachet, which generates even more waste that is often not recycled either.

Some brands advertise their recycling actions more and others have no trace of them on their websites or communications.

I am not going to mention in this article specific brands of single-dose coffee when referring to its capsules since we all know too well various brands. Some make more publicity of their recycling actions and others have no trace of them on their websites or communications.

Focusing on the brand I use, the one with the quintessential aluminum capsules and chic TV commercials, I have mixed feelings about their treatment of this topic.

Facilitate And Promote Homework

I periodically receive emails from this brand because I belong to the consumers’ club of their coffee in which, in addition to advertising news and offers, they report on the efforts being made to recycle their capsules.

Videos made by well-known actresses and presenters explain how the aluminum in the capsules is recycled or the coffee inside is used to grow solidarity rice.

All of this sounds perfect to me, but when I go to the store to buy coffee no one proactively informs me of the recycling program if I haven’t watched the videos or checked the email. There is no mention of the subject at all. The public is not remembered.

If you ask, they tell you that you can take them to the store and they will take care of it. The capsules retain moisture and can generate odors, especially in summer, so keeping them at home is annoying in itself.

Twice different times I asked if they had special bags to store used capsules and each time they had run out and hadn’t brought any more. What is my surprise when the third time I go and there are no bags, they offer me a cylindrical aluminum container supposedly for those needs (at a price that I don’t remember but that seemed stratospheric to me) in an attempt to make a business out of recycling itself?

Finally, the last time I went, they gave me (finally!) two self-closing paper bags that I am using and in which, among other things, the first step is you. Are you sure I’m the first step?

All this always worries me about the subject, imagine the reader how many people are going to be appealed to bring them the capsules if perhaps they are not aware, the matter is not made easier for them and on top of that, they want to sell them something to recycle.

The easy fix? Well, capsule to the bin, it doesn’t matter if for the brown container, the normal one or the yellow one.

The easy fix? Well, capsule to the bin, it doesn’t matter if for the brown container, the normal one or the yellow one.

And added to all this mess, let’s be honest, it is a real hassle having to take the waste to the green points or to the store where we buy the coffee.

If this happens with this specific brand, which has a recycling program for its capsules in progress (improvable like everything in this life), what will not happen with others that do not have established programs, do not declare them or do not advertise them?

Nothing good. We can get used to the idea that the percentage of people who correctly recycle this waste in green points is much lower than the 10% that I mentioned before.

Switch To Sustainable Capsules

While many brands continue with aluminum and plastic and it seems that they are in no hurry to change, capsules made of biodegradable materials are already being marketed that can disintegrate in a period of one to three months and that can be disposed of in the organic waste container. as we can read here.

What are the companies that sell plastic and aluminum capsules waiting to offer their same offer of coffee but in containers that do not need to be recycled?

I don’t know. I hope and wish that laws like the one in the Balearic Islands speed up the transition to this type of capsule. I and many other people prefer the convenience of throwing the capsules in the organic waste container and knowing that we are not contributing to polluting the planet, to enjoy the show of colors and luxurious touch of aluminum or neither f nor f experience of a vulgar plastic container.

If they don’t, over time, they will probably notice a decrease in sales from conscientious consumers who will even shift their consumption towards coffee prepared with traditional methods, leaving aside the twenty-five different flavors, the clubs, and the exclusive coffees. of the season and modern comforts (and at a cheaper price).

ABOUT ecoGnome

Leading a sustainable lifestyle means wholeheartedly embracing respect for the environment and making a positive impact for people and the planet.

Click to read on