I am amazed at some of the things we see thrown out. It is unbelievable the types of food we see in the garbage. As we learn more about food waste there will be things we can do to reduce it. We will never completely eliminate it but we can definitely make progress. I am a big proponent of reduction but today’s rant is about unavoidable waste – coffee – and more specifically about individual serving coffee pods. We can’t reduce it unless we drink less coffee and I won’t begrudge anyone their cup of coffee. I think though we can do better on making sure that all of those grounds don’t end up in landfill. Coffee grounds are an unavoidable waste but these coffee pods end up in the garbage stream. Its egregious. The containers are recyclable and the grounds are compostable but together they end up in the garbage stream most of the time. Its got to stop. In out audits we looked at household organic waste production. We saw a huge volume of these coffee pods in the garbage. They are rarely separated. Is the convenience really worth the huge volume of garbage we’re generating? You’re not saving money. I hope the municipalities with waste bans enforce them on coffee pods. I wish we could charge a garbage tax on these sorts of products where they end up unnecessarily in the garbage.
There are starting to be programs through which you can pay a premium and ship the pods back through a recycling system. That hardly seems sustainable with all that extra shipping. And are people who won’t separate the plastic from grounds are unlikely to pay extra, store them and then ship them back. This seems like green washing.
This seems so simple. It drives me crazy. I won’t use them. Do you?