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A Guide to Biodegradable Coffee Pods: Why, Features, Best Ways to Dispose

by Invigo Coffee 24 May 2021
A Guide to Biodegradable Coffee Pods: Why, Features, Best Ways to Dispose

The ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods have become a primary talking point with the popularity of coffee pods. We all know the importance of using biodegradable coffee pods to the environment. However, you also know these pods won't decompose immediately after you dispose of them. So, you need to look for ways to dispose of these biodegradable coffee pods. 

Every coffee pod lover was happy when biodegradable coffee pods entered the market. As much as coffee pods were very innovative and delicious, they had a setback. Coffee pods are generally not too friendly to the environment, especially plastic and aluminum pods. Thanks to their primary constituents, coffee pod waste may last up to 500 years after disposal. 

So, it's more like you're enjoying your coffee but killing the environment. Because when these pods add up to the waste in the world, it'll affect you later. As a result, there was a need to have pods that won't last so long before decomposing. So, the discovery of biodegradable pods was necessary and timely. 

The creation of biodegradable pods means you can drink coffee pods without a negative effect on the environment. It also means the materials used to create these pods differ from the other pods. Thanks to these unique materials, these pods have different methods of use and disposal. So you see, you need to understand the specific ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods properly. 

When you dispose of these pods correctly, it’ll make the decomposing process faster. That's why the disposal methods of biodegradable coffee pods can't be the same as other pods. Here, we’ll show you how to safely dispose of biodegradable coffee pods.

Why Do You Need Biodegradable Coffee Pods?

You can easily classify coffee pods as one of the best innovations in the coffee world. They make the coffee-making process very simple. Innovation never stops. As a result, there are now different types of coffee pods. These types of coffee pods have their advantages and disadvantages.

The first type of coffee pods was filter paper with ground coffee as its content. However, when you use these coffee pods, the waste products can become very messy. So, you will have no option but to clean up after every brew. This was a problem in the coffee pod world that needed a robust solution.

In 1992, John Sylvan created a different type of coffee pod with a plastic container. That means the ground coffee will be inside a plastic instead of ordinary filter paper. As a result, this plastic material will leave you with a neater space after you brew your coffee. That's why when this innovation came, it spread far and wide globally and grew in popularity. 

Soon enough, many people started choosing these types of plastic coffee pods. However, that means the amount of plastic in the world will continue to increase. That alone is the primary reason why we need to use biodegradable coffee pods. Before we look into the ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods, let's see some of the key advantages of using them:

Break down fast

The environment we live in existed long before coffee or coffee pods. Asides from coffee pods, other food items already make up the global waste. So when you add coffee pods to the mix, it increases the amount of global waste.

It gets worse when you add plastic or aluminum coffee pods to the waste. These materials have properties that allow them to spend up to 500 years before decomposing. That means they will remain in their normal state for about 500 years. In turn, they'll continue to increase the amount of waste in the world.

For this reason, there's a need to switch to biodegradable coffee pods. Biodegradable pods are coffee pods whose materials decompose quickly without harming the environment. With biodegradable coffee pods, you don't have to think of the best ways to dispose of them. 

However, if you use plastic pods, you have to worry about many factors. How do you dispose of plastic coffee pods? What's the best process to recycle or reuse this plastic pod? These questions will almost constantly run through your mind when you use plastic coffee pods. 

No matter how much you search, you may never get accurate answers to these questions. In most cases, what you'll find are clues and calculated guesses from research. Therefore, your best option to ensure the sustainable environment you live in is to choose biodegradable coffee pods.

In most cases, the best disposal method for biodegradable coffee pods is hardly complex. So, you’ll get to enjoy your biodegradable coffee pods without the stress of how to dispose of them. At the same time, you're taking your time to save the environment from unnecessary waste.

Safe decomposition

As soon as raw materials become waste, the decomposing process begins. Depending on the type of product you have, the decomposing process may be unsafe.

The decomposing process is usually a chemical process where these products will release gases and chemicals into the immediate atmosphere. While some of these chemicals may be safe for the environment, some can be very harmful. 

When some products decompose, they release gases such as methane and other greenhouse gases. For us, methane intake can have harmful implications. This is why it’s recommended you live far away from a landfill. It’s not just about the smell. That way, you're sure of the safety of the air you breathe in daily.

That's why throwing your pods casually in the thrash isn't how to dispose of coffee pods responsibly. On the other hand, if a landfill has only biodegradable products, there’s no need to worry about the air you breathe in. 

Biodegradable products break down into organic materials, carbon dioxide, or even water. These gases are very safe for you. Hence, there’s no need to worry. 

More so, you don't need to perform special activities for these products to decompose. I’m the presence of microbes like bacteria or fungi, biodegradable coffee pods decompose quickly. As a result, you don't have to worry about messing up the environment. 

Recyclable and reusable

When you buy coffee pods in Canada or anywhere else, you want to enjoy that sharp distinct taste that makes the world a little brother. 

If you love the environment, you don’t want this everyday activity to contribute to environmental degradation.

In that case, you may want to reuse the coffee pod material after making your coffee. That way, you wouldn't have to throw any plastic and aluminum away into the thrash. 

With plastic pods and aluminum options, doing these may be a tad complicated. Thankfully, the reverse is the case for biodegradable coffee pods. You can always recycle and reuse them. So even after brewing the ground coffee content, you still get to use the materials.

Also, most manufacturers of biodegradable coffee pods offer rewards for responsible recycling. So, you can also collect the remaining materials and give them back to the manufacturer. 


The materials used to make a biodegradable coffee pod are mostly affordable. Biodegradable coffee pods aim to curb the harmful impact coffee pods have on the environment. So, the materials will usually have less complex production processes. This means manufacturers do not spend as much when compared with the production of plastic or aluminum pods. 

In turn, the affordable production process will affect you as the consumer in a positive way. First, you'll be able to buy biodegradable coffee at relatively affordable prices. You won't necessarily have to break the bank to enjoy coffee every day.


The creation of biodegradable coffee pods is a development that's a bit recent in the coffee pod industry. Therefore, biodegradable coffee pods are mostly an improvement on all other coffee pods. When you examine their features and properties, the biodegradable pod will be better than previous coffee pods. Even the ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods are more straightforward than other pods.

From buying the pods to making your coffee and the disposal, biodegradable coffee pods offer simplicity. Even when you consider the types of materials used for biodegradable pods, you can see the simplicity.

Furthermore, the raw materials used to make most biodegradable coffee pods are usually simple. In most cases, these products are very sustainable or even by-products of plants. Because of these plant products, these products have simple features and even sizes. Examples of these plant-related raw materials may include sugarcane, cornstarch, among others. 

Related Article: How Sustainable Are Coffee Pods (FAQs)

Can Coffee be Biodegradable?

We can't explain the ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods without explaining what biodegradable means. Biodegradable is a feature in any material signifying that bacteria or living things can decompose the material. 

This means these waste products return to their natural state with the help of living things. These living things don't have to be human beings or animals. Most of the time, decomposing happens thanks to the natural action of bacteria or fungi.

So, when you throw these products away into the waste, they quickly decompose in the presence of fungi or bacteria. That way, these products will not stay too long on waste sites. Depending on the type of product, they can break down into different chemical compounds. Examples of these compounds include carbon dioxide, water vapour, amongst others. 

Is every product biodegradable?

You can refer to everything you see globally as a biodegradable material. With time, every product on the globe will decompose. However, in terms of waste management and reduction, we can't classify all products as biodegradable products.

The classification of products as biodegradable is where the factor of time comes to play. The products you can refer to as biodegradable decompose within a short period — not more than a few years. So, if you have a product that will decay in the presence of living organisms within this period, it's biodegradable. 

So you see, biodegradability is not a feature present in every product. Let’s take products made with plastic as an illustration. These products take many years before they decompose in the waste trash. But if this product was made with biodegradable plastic, the storyline will differ.

This product will not spend as much time decomposing if the plastic is biodegradable. So, in comparison with a plastic pod that adds up to the waste in the environment, biodegradable plastic will fare better. When you dispose of biodegradable plastic coffee pods, you reduce how long they exist as waste. 

Why You Should Dispose of Biodegradable Pods

If you're a curious person, there's a high chance you have a couple of questions on your mind already. We had mentioned earlier that biodegradable coffee pods are safe for the environment. 

If that's true, why do we need to know the ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods properly? Shouldn't I be able to dump these biodegradable materials in the thrash?

These are some of the questions that are already probably running through your mind. Of course, biodegradable coffee pods are safe for the environment as they decompose faster. Remember that the decomposition process we described earlier, is a chemical process. For a chemical process to happen quickly, you may have to introduce a catalyst to the chemical situation.

So, in this case of biodegradable coffee pods, you can assume the catalyst is the disposal method. So you see, many factors play important roles when it comes to disposing of a biodegradable coffee pod. 

You can't just dump it anywhere because the label confirms biodegradable properties. If you're still doubting, let's take a look at why you need to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods responsibly:


When you dump any biodegradable product in the waste landfill, it starts decomposing after a while. However, for it to decompose appropriately, it requires a chemical compound, which is oxygen. 

Of course, you're already wondering how oxygen relates to the disposal of biodegradable coffee pods. The first question you'll want to ask is if these waste products now breathe. 

Of course not! A biodegradable coffee pod will not suddenly develop breathing features when it gets into a landfill. But oxygen is what living organisms breathe in, so how does it relate to decomposition? 

If you remember, we mentioned that biodegradable products will only decompose in the presence of living organisms. That means, without these living organisms, a biodegradable product will take more than usual to decompose.

These living organisms are the direct link between oxygen and the biodegradable coffee pods you trashed. The living organisms that decompose a biodegradable coffee pod are fungi, bacteria, amongst others. So, biodegradable coffee pods rely on these organisms to decompose. 

These living organisms, in turn, rely on oxygen to continue to live. That means, the moment you remove oxygen from a location, either bacteria or fungi will struggle to survive. In the long run, these living organisms cannot survive without oxygen. If anything blocks the source of oxygen supply, the bacteria or fungi will die.

Remember, without these organisms; the biodegradable coffee pods won't decompose properly. So, one of the ways to decompose biodegradable coffee pods is to allow oxygen. 

Of course, you can't see oxygen, but you know it is in the air we breathe. So, to ensure proper decomposition, dispose of your coffee pods in an area with unrestricted access to air.


Like we have mentioned earlier, a biodegradable material will not degrade if there's no living organism. The living organism, in most cases, is usually bacteria or fungi. So, wherever your biodegradable waste ends, it must have either one of bacteria or fungi. Once these organisms are not present, there's no way the decomposition will occur. 

Therefore, when you're searching for ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods, you should consider bacteria and fungi. You shouldn't dump this waste in a place where you know these organisms are absent. If not, there's no active organism that will decompose your coffee pods. 

How to Dispose of Biodegradable Coffee Pods

The fact that you decided to choose biodegradable coffee pods indicates you love the environment. However, you need to figure out the best ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods.

There are different methods you can employ to dispose of your biodegradable coffee pods. Each one of these styles has its respective advantages. Here are some of the ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods:

Trash the biodegradable coffee pods 

The easiest and quickest option of disposing of biodegradable coffee pods is by throwing them in your waste. This method is very convenient because immediately you finish the pod, you throw it away. In standard cases, your trash is going to join other waste items in the landfill area. That means you're not totally in control of the decomposing process of the coffee pods.

What happens is every one of these waste materials will end up in the landfill. As a result, the position that the biodegradable coffee pods find themselves heavily influence the decomposing process. If the coffee pod lands in a space where there are natural elements, it will decompose quickly. However, if the pods fall in a position with no oxygen, the process may have a slight delay. 

This method may seem like the best disposal method for biodegradable coffee pods because of its convenience. However, it's not the safest option available because there's still a probability. If you want to protect the environment, you may not choose this method. 

Biogas Company

A biogas company is a company that uses biodegradable materials and products to generate electricity. Like we explained earlier, these companies use these materials to produce methane gas. This methane gas, after due process, can generate electricity. 

What you can do is to search for the closest biogas company around. If you have one close by, all you will need to do is to gather your biodegradable pods and give them. This method is a bit safe because the company will have safety methods to control the methane gas. That way, you have a tiny bit of assurance that the pods aren't affecting the environment.


One of the best ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods is to recycle and reuse the pods. Not only are you sure that it's not affecting the environment, but you can also save time. There are two ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods through recycling;

  • Recycling plant: There are recycling plants in Canada where the main goal is to recycle such materials. In some cases, the manufacturer of biodegradable coffee pods may offer recycling. Whichever one you choose, all you need to do is to gather your coffee pods and give to them
  • Personal recycling: This method means you want to recycle the biodegradable coffee pods by yourself. Depending on the type of product you have, this process isn't generally complex. All you'll mostly need is to remove the foil and clear out all coffee content. Then, you can repurpose the pods for other functions.

Related Article: Can I Recycle Coffee Pods?


The ways to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods may not be numerous, but they are essential. Biodegradable coffee pods are already unique because you can save the environment and still enjoy the use of your coffee pods. 

However, you won't be protecting the environment if you don't dispose of these materials properly. You can follow the steps in this article if you don't already know how to dispose of biodegradable coffee pods. 

Furthermore, there's a standard comparison between biodegradable coffee pods and compostable pods. Many coffee lovers assume they mean the same thing since they both save the environment. However, biodegradable coffee pods and compostable pods are not the same things. Biodegradable pods need natural settings to decompose, while the compostable pods require a compost setting.

To contribute to environmental sustainability, you should buy coffee pods from manufacturers that adhere to sustainability practices. Here at Invigo Coffee, we are committed to leaving the world better than we met it.

Not only are our different coffee pods delicious, but they are also safe for the environment. Check out our online collection of coffee pods in different flavours today!

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