Pod Wars

Single-use coffee pods – while convenient – are often viewed as environmentally challenged. As those discarded capsules pile up, anyone with any eco-sense has to wonder if we’re just kicking the can down the road and pouring yet more micro-plastics into our landfills and waterways.

Researchers at the University of Quebec beg to differ. A recent study adds to research that shows that brewing the coffee – not the packaging – is a more accurate way to look at a product’s life span. Various brewing techniques, from pods to brewed (French press) to traditional filters all consume energy and water and coffee beans, so researchers have estimated greenhouse gas emissions and have come to realize that all-things-considered, pods are the most efficient method for brewing coffee.

Now, about those plastic containers!

A relatively new player in the market, Bruvi®, does all the right things when it comes to sourcing the coffee beans – supporting sustainable coffee sourcing, building long-term relationships with products, and establishing ethical labor practices including no child or forced labor, minimum wages, no forced land evictions and advances in occupational health and safety.

The company is committed to zero deforestation, proper waste handling, biodiversity protection and soil/water/energy conservation. They also are considered one of the most eco-friendly ways to enjoy coffee when you consider coffee waste and energy efficiency.

But the coolest advancement offered by Bruvi? Their B-Pods® are infused with a bio-enzyme that allows them to break down in landfills much faster than untreated plastic, without leaving microplastics behind. And in applicable landfills, B-Pods can also play a role in Landfill Gas to Energy project, creating renewable energy and bringing enhanced end-of-life- value.

Today, all 1,280 U.S. municipal landfills (where our household trash ends up) are highly regulated environments and have landfill gas capture infrastructure in place. Even better, 493 landfills actually repurpose collected methane into clean renewable energy, through Landfill to Gas Energy projects. In simple terms, current capacity for electricity generation can power over one million homes for a year.

Bottom line – there are smart companies out there tackling one small part of the eco-equation and if you do a little research, you can incorporate small things into your life that helps to make a difference. Bruvi is just one company who came up with a solution, and in doing so might have decided the pod war debate.