Why compostable pods aren't the answer

Why compostable pods aren't the answer

As we all know, single-use pods are devastating to our planet. Billions and billions of single use pods (made up of plastic and aluminium) go to landfill every year and can take over hundreds of years to break down. Nespresso founder even described their pods as a "terrible mistake!" 

As more and more of us are becoming concerned for the planet, we have seen a rise in the number of compostable pods on the market. Not only have big brands introduced their own line of compostable pods but even artisan coffee roasters are introducing their own line of compostable pods.

Although it's a huge step in the right direction, we still don't think this is the best choice when it comes to pod coffee. But why?  

"Compostable materials are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials are necessarily compostable." says Katrik Chandran, a Professor of environmental engineering.

Biodegradable refers to any material that will disintegrate in water, soil or air over time with the help of organisms like bacteria and enzymes. This can happen quickly or it can take years, Chandran said.

Compostable also refers to a material that breaks down and returns to nature, but it has to turn into something that improves the nutrient levels of the soil, like soil conditioners or mulch. It also has to do so relatively quickly, at the same rate as the materials with which it is being composted, like food waste or yard trimmings, according to the US Federal Trade Commission.

The problem is that there is no legal limit for how long a compostable material must take to break down. There are many compostable pods available in the UK but how long do they actually take to break down? Sometimes it can be years.

It’s also important to remember that a large number UK residents live in urban areas that don’t have a garden or home composting facilities. So how do they compost their coffee pods? Either they can’t or they can organise composting waste collections them which is not only a cost in monetary terms but also a bigger cost to the planet in fuel and energy used for transportation and site waste facilities etc.

Whether you think compostable coffee pods are a good or a bad alternative, we still can’t help think about all of the materials and power needed to make every coffee pod is unnecessary ….. all for single use which lasts just seconds.

That’s why, if you truly want to go green and reduce your impact on the planet and make a difference, reusable stainless steel SealPod capsules are the way forward.


  • No single-use plastics
  • Lifetime use
  • Cheaper
  • More freedom over coffee