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Two canadian companies partner to reduce coffee pod waste

As our landfills reach capacity and greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, consumers are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact without making major sacrifices to their lifestyle.

One item that is frequently under the spotlight for its plastic waste impact is the single-use coffee pod. Billions of them end up in landfills each year as they can be notoriously difficult to recycle.

Did You Know? Hamburg, Germany has actually banned coffee pods from government buildings since they produce too much waste.

That’s where innovation comes in!

Club Coffee = Club Compost

Toronto-based Club Coffee developed PurPod100, the first certified 100% compostable coffee pod compatible with typical Keurig brewers.

This show-stopping PurPod has a paper lid, a filter made with a material similar to corn-starch, and a ring made with coffee bean husks – all plant-based, decomposable materials. These pods have been tested successfully at many composting and anaerobic digestion facilities both in Canada and the United States. The Compost Manufacturing Alliance, the largest composting alliance in America, has given PurPods the green light, as have some Canadian municipalities. The Ontario government recently announced its support for these pods in all municipal food waste diversion programs because a used pod, which is 85% coffee grounds, doesn’t belong in the landfill.

Switching to certified compostable pods is one way you can reduce your environmental impact while still benefiting from the convenience of the K-Cup system. You can also continue to enjoy such favorite brands as President’s Choice, Maxwell House, Muskoka Roastery and Craft Roasters.

But – what if your municipality doesn’t offer a curbside collection program or you prefer to FoodCycle your food waste before adding it to the green bin or your backyard composter?

We’ve done extensive testing with Club Coffee pods in the FoodCycler – and they do work after some pre-chopping of the outer ring or by removing the ring at end of the cycle (similar to more fibrous food wastes, such as celery).

No solution is perfect the first time around, and that’s why we’re partnering with Club Coffee to ensure that the FoodCycler and Club Coffee product lines evolve together. We are actively developing our product to ensure that compostable pods will be 100% compatible with the FoodCycler without any pre-chopping in the future. Coffee – what FoodCycler calls “office fuel” - will be one more item you can easily process from the comfort of your kitchen to help cut food waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions Stay tuned to learn more about coming innovations from FoodCycler and Club Coffee that will make this possible!

You are likely asking yourself, ‘why do plastic pods still exist?’ We don’t have the answer, in fact, we’ve been asking ourselves that question for a while now.

As more compostable products and packaging become available, education becomes an important part of the product-launch process. For example, what can and cannot be composted often differs between municipalities and what works in a commercial facility may take a long time to break down in a backyard composter. We all want to avoid our composting systems having similar problems to those experienced by our recycling streams – where confusing rules and wish-cycling lead to high contamination rates.

One method which FoodCycler would like to implement as our product line develops to accommodate more eco-innovations is effective labelling of products. Just as Keurig labels inform users that their pods are compatible with their K-Cup system, FoodCycler would like to label the non-food materials (compostable plastics, coffee pods, etc.) that are proven to work in our system which recycles food waste.

Let us know in the comments – would you look for a “Works with FoodCycler” logo when doing your grocery shopping?

As part of Waste Reduction Week in Canada, our friends at Club Coffee are doing giveaways that include compostable pods and a FoodCycler. Check out the details and enter to win so you can try it out for yourself!


This HILARIOUS video is from Club Coffee partner Brittlestar - check out this very Canadian Dad and how he handles food waste diversion 😂


A Note on Terminology

The FoodCycler™ is a countertop electric food waste recycler that breaks down food scraps through a mechanical process into a dry, lightweight by-product that can be used in gardening applications as a fertilizer. The FoodCycler™ and other electric food waste recyclers are not composters, nor do they produce compost or soil as they do not require additional microbes to break down food waste with bacteria. However, the term "electric composter" has been used to describe the FoodCycler™.