Here at Roar Gill, we are very careful about the materials we use when making our pods and packaging.
A corn-starch and lignin (wood-fibre) compostable product has a numbers of advantages over other pods: their own growth process removes Co2 at source, and when the final pods enter waste disposal streams they outperform Aluminium and Plastics.
We often get asked about disposal options for coffee pods. There are four main waste disposal streams here in the UK:
This could be done at home or by food waste council collection. Our compostable capsules will break down leaving nothing but organic soil. Aluminium can't go in this waste stream.
Aluminium Can recycling works quite well. However aluminium coffee capsule recycling rates are very poor. Nespresso’s last figures show 70% of capsules are never recycled. No other capsule company offers any figure regarding recycling rates. The energy used to recycle is also hard to quantify, so we struggle to get a clear picture of emissions.
Burning rubbish that could be composted isn’t ideal. But burning a grown rather than mined material is preferable as a rule. Co2 is absorbed by the plant when its growing and then neutrally released when burnt. It's not as good as composting, but the choice of compostable materials are a preferable outcome compared to aluminium and plastic incineration.
Our least favourite waste stream. There are far better routes than placing compostable capsules in landfill. However compostable materials will always outperform aluminium and plastic in this environment [the latter options can take hundred's of years to breakdown].
Your choice of material is the most important decision. Compostable materials are best able to navigate all the different waste streams. Plastic and aluminium capsules are cheaper to source, but the environment picks up the bill.