A Kind Cuppa - Coffee Capsules Get Eco-Friendly

Celine Asril

Coffee Capsules -

Picture: Andrés Nieto Porras

Wake up and smell the environment - your single-serve cuppa is going green.

You’ll soon be able to enjoy your single-serve morning cuppa even more knowing it's kind to the environment. Apart from recyclable coffee capsules, we've been told that biodegradable, fairtrade coffee capsules will be available in Asia as early as September.

The capsules, produced by Indonesian social enterprise, Java Mountain Coffee (JMC), have been designed to be compatible with four popular coffee machine models in the market – Nespresso Primary, Dolce Gusto, Lavazza and Caffitaly. The biodegradable product, called "composite coffee capsules", was developed in Belgium are being manufactured in Italy and filled with coffee grounds in Indonesia. JMC’s supports the indigenous Indonesian population through export of farm-fresh, micro-roast and green coffee globally. Their mission is to empower 1 million rural women and plant 3 million trees by 2030 through sustainable trade. A minimum of 10% from every sale will be channeled into their Women’s Empowerment Innovation Fund, which they are setting up with Olam International, a public listed agri-business.

Coffee capsules are generally made with aluminium and plastic. Aluminium takes 200 to 500 years to decompose, while plastic takes 20 to 1,000 years. 

Nespresso, one of the world’s leading companies for coffee machines and single-serve coffee capsules, launched its recyclable coffee capsules program in 2011. One such programme was recently rolled out in Singapore - the aluminium pods are dried and recycled, while the used coffee grounds are donated to Quan Fa farm, which turns it into compost.

To coffee fans, recycling these pods, or using biodegradable ones, makes the caffeine hit even better.

"Coffee pods are something many of us use everyday to get a quality coffee fix, so being able to recycle them is really key or it would add up to a lot of accumulated waste each year," says Tracy Phillips, founder of PPURPOSE, who appears in a Nespresso video promoting the brand's green programme. "I love that Nespresso has made their pods recyclable and has local partners like Quan Fa Organic Farm so you can see (and eat) your recycling efforts. "

Adds a Java Mountain Coffee spokesperson: “With biodegradable coffee capsules, people will no longer feel guilty when their morning cup of coffee goes to the landfills.”

So coffee lovers rejoice, your morning cuppa is going green.

If you like your coffee conscious you'll love social enterprise Bettr Barista. Then find out Why Direct trade Coffee Leaves a Better Taste In Your Mouth and be sure to  ditch the paper cup with these 5 Reasons To Have Your Coffee In a Tumbler

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