When the single serve coffee brewer started to take off several years ago, the convenience of being able to make an individual cup of coffee at the press of a button had everyone in a tizzy, and sales have continued to rise. No seriously, in 2014 Keurig sold enough coffee pods to encircle the earth’s equator 10.5 times!
However, there is a downside to the convenience, with coffee pods piling up in our landfills by the billions.
The inventor of the K-Cup, John Sylvan, is ambivalent about bringing his idea to fruition. The negative environmental impact they create doesn’t sit well with him and he implores people to just brew a pot of coffee instead.
As consumers begin to see the environmental effects of coffee pods, manufacturers are researching, developing, and starting to employ more sustainable options. The most common solution has been pods that are easy to disassemble for recycling. While this is a step in the right direction it’s not a 100% green solution.
Luckily, one Canadian company is developing the ultimate sustainable answer to the K-Cup waste problem, the first completely compostable coffee pod!
G-Pak, the first 100% compostable coffee pod was founded by entrepreneur Darren Footz. They provide a rich, great tasting, fully compostable product that will satisfy the consumer’s desire to brew a single-serve hot beverage in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Their aim is to have their product released by the end of this year and change the way that everyone consumes single serve coffee.
For those that don’t know, single serve coffee pods are an incredibly popular way for people to brew their coffee at home. They are small pre-prepared pods that are placed into a special brewing machine. As it is estimated that nearly 30% of coffee drinkers use one of these machines, the number of pods that end up in the landfill is staggering! That’s where G-Pak comes in, with a pod that aims for a cradle to cradle approach.
Cradle to cradle means that the product essentially has a full life cycle that starts with the earth, returns to the earth, and could have the materials it’s made out of grown from the soil the pod is composted in.
G-Pak has partnered with the University of British Columbia to conduct laboratory research to help determine that their pods break down after twelve weeks in a lab environment.
Based in beautiful Vancouver, G-Pak intends to partner with single serve producers and coffee shops to sell their compostable pods everywhere, providing people all over with the option of a greener coffee.
“We want to make a real, lasting change. These single serve coffee pods are a real issue. They end up in the landfill, oceans, and the ground. As more and more people adopt single-use coffee pods, the problem keeps compounding- currently we are at over 60 billion in the landfill. That’s enough that if you stacked them end on end, they would go from the earth to the moon and back 3 times. We want to provide people with a product that is sustainable from the start, the not only leaves no trace buy gives back to the soil, that tastes just as amazing and is actually more convenient than current coffee pod options”. – The G-Pak Crew
We’re incredibly excited by the prospect of enjoying the convenience of single-serve coffee pods without the guilt of waste, 2016 with be the year of the sustainable coffee drinker!