Great to see you are interested in our biodegradable coffee pods. Firstly, let’s talk some plain English, then we can go into all the hard core certification details, if you still want to.
Our pods are made from d2w oxo-biodegradable plastic technology. They are recyclable and biodegradable, but are not compostable. They can be recycled or treated as general waste where they will degrade at an accelerated rate of time in landfill. It takes around 2 years for this to happen. As a comparison, it can take up to 500 years for some other plastic and aluminium pods to break down.
Normal plastic erodes and breaks down into tiny fragments known as micro plastics. Such fragments are a serious environmental problem as they can lie or float around for decades. Being oxo-biodegradable, our pods go much further than just fragmenting into smaller pieces – they rapidly convert into materials with a low molecular weight (which is no longer considered plastic) and become a food-source for naturally occurring micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi. Such organisms are also known as ‘decomposers’ and carry out the final natural process of decomposition, by releasing enzymes which are able to break down complex compounds. This is an essential piece of information to understand.
Oxo-biodegradable plastic will biodegrade on land or in water and will not leave harmful residues. It can also be recycled with ordinary plastics, making it very versatile.
One of the reasons we choose this material over compostable material, is because many compostable materials are tested to biodegrade in commercial composting facilities and not in the open environment. Unfortunately, in Australia we have very few commercial composting facilities. This means many of these materials biodegrade over a much longer time period than specified on their packaging and during the biodegrading process they release methane gas and carbon dioxide into the environment (greenhouse gases which a commercial composting facility would capture).
Unfortunately, there is no ‘perfect’ solution… All have pros and cons. We are using what we believe to be the best solution to minimise our environmental impact, while at the same time producing a great cup of coffee. Some will agree with us, some will not. But ultimately it is up to you, the customer, to do some research and decide on what feels right for you. As I like to say, different strokes for different folks : )
But please know we are always investing and researching new and better ways to pack our coffee. Our goal is to offer a pod suitable for home composting and we have come a long way towards this. Even though we’re not quite there yet, we hope you will still support us as the more support we get now the quicker we will be able to achieve this goal.
And for the science nerds…
Our supplier is an Italian-based accredited user of d2w oxo-biodegradable plastic technology. The d2w oxo-biodegradable plastic technology certification complies with paras. 1 2 3(a), (b) and (d) of Annex II of the European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC (as amended) on Packaging and Packaging Waste in the European Union, as Australia has no mandatory standard on biodegradability.
The following certificates authenticate this claim…
What this means is that the pods comply with European Directive 94/62 EC for the requirements for packaging established in article no. 13 of chapter V of Law 11/97 of 24 April for packaging and packaging residues. This is on the basis of ISO 14855 test results that demonstrated 82.3% biodegradability (CO2 evolution compared to cellulose) in 670 days thus leading, on the basis of simple extrapolation, to full biodegradation (that is 91% CO2 evolution +9% Biomass) in 730 days.
The following certificate authenticates this claim…
Be happy,Toby Strong (aka The Podfather)Founder & Customer Happiness Specialist