Canadian researcher develops compostable coffee pod


In British Columbia, researcher Zachary Hudson has developed a compostable coffee pod made from renewable materials. 

The University of British Columbia assistant professor and research chair in sustainable chemistry created the pods over three years in partnership with Nexe Innovations. The pod consists of bamboo fiber capsule, polylactic acid lining, and paper seal. The pods break down after 35 days in a municipal composter. 

“About 40 billion single-use coffee pods are disposed of every year and end up in landfills,” Hudson tells Vancouver Sun. Despite the obvious waste problem, the coffee pod market will be a nearly $30 billion market by 2025, the paper notes, citing market reports. 

Interest from coffee producers has been strong. “If we could make a billion of these a year, we would sell them all,” Hudson says. “We will be scaling up to a few 100,000 units in the next few months, and our goal is to be producing hundreds of millions of units a year by 2022.”