Have you also stood with your used coffee capsules in one hand while scratching your neck with the other. Ask yourself the question: How do you sort waste coffee capsules? We give you the answer here and at the same time make you wiser about why it is better (and easier) to use the biodegradable capsules for environmental reasons.
Photo by Karsten Seiferlin
Metal container or household waste?
Waste sorting of coffee capsules is difficult. Sorting for recycling of the well-known Nespresso capsules® or other brands of coffee capsules is difficult to see through, as they contain both coffee grounds and aluminum. And do they then belong in the metal container or household waste / residual waste? Hmm…
The answer is that it differs from municipality to municipality. Some municipalities want the capsules in the container for household waste, while others want them in the metal container. Confusing, annoying. To make matters worse, using plastic coffee capsules may vary further.
If you live in Copenhagen, we will recommend the municipality’s waste service when you are in doubt about how your waste should be sorted and thrown away. In Copenhagen, used coffee capsules must be used in household waste, but it is different from municipality to municipality how waste sorting of coffee capsules is to take place. If you live elsewhere in the country, you must enter your municipality’s sorting guide to find out.
Some manufacturers, such as Nespresso®, offer that you can return your used coffee capsules for recycling at the store or their retailers. Unfortunately, not everyone lives near their coffee capsule pusher. If you want to be a little critical here, you can also ask if it is not a matter of shifting the responsibility onto the consumer.
Coffee capsules are unhealthy for the environment
Even when you have been skilled and sorted your aluminum and plastic capsules or handed them in for recycling in the store, you can unfortunately not have a completely clear conscience. Both plastic and aluminum capsules are energy-intensive to manufacture and consist of materials that require a lot of resources to decompose. Therefore, they never become the environmentally friendly choice.
The growing popularity of coffee capsules in particular poses an environmental problem. After a sluggish start, the wheels are turning and the capsule market is growing and growing. Today, more than 400 Nespresso capsules are drunk per second worldwide. Nespresso® itself claims that approximately 30 percent of their used capsules are recycled. But according to some experts, the figure is probably closer to five percent .
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Did you know about coffee capsules…
- That 59 billion coffee capsules were produced in 2018
- That a city like Hamburg has taken the consequence of the packaging’s harmful environmental effect and banned coffee capsules in all of the city’s public offices
- That according to the Consumer Council Think it is difficult to say whether it is plastic or aluminum capsules that are worst for the environment
Source: NewsTalk, Berlingske and the Consumer Council Think
Biodegradable coffee capsules are the better alternative
The alternative to aluminum and plastic are coffee capsules made of plant material, the so-called biodegradable coffee capsules. This saves both climate and the environment in production and recycling, as the capsules consist of organic material that is CO2-neutral, can be composted and at the same time is less energy and resource-intensive.
Despite the fact that many biodegradable capsules are compostable, in Denmark you should generally not throw them in the green bio-bucket if you have one at home. Quite a few municipalities supply biowaste for industrial composting that can handle packaging. (Kalundborg, Holbæk and Odsherred)
According to the Danish Waste Association , which ØNSK has consulted with, the compostable capsules must instead be used in household waste. The explanation is that in the process before the capsules reach the biogas plant, no difference can be seen between compostable packaging and ordinary packaging. Therefore, it is all sorted out as impurities.
So you have to throw your biodegradable coffee capsules in the household waste, is the explanation from the Danish Waste Association. However, one should not be ashamed of this, they explain afterwards, as the capsules eventually become environmentally friendly and CO2-neutral fuel for the production of district heating and electricity.
ØNSK’s coffee capsules are biodegradable and therefore a more environmentally friendly choice.
ØNSK coffee capsules
Now that you have the answer to waste sorting of coffee capsules, do not be fooled by too little advertising. At ØNSK, we sell our very own environmentally friendly coffee capsules that fit your Nespresso machine®. And we do that pretty well, if we have to say so ourselves. Here is finally a coffee capsule where you avoid bad taste in the mouth in relation to both taste, environment and climate.
We often hear that coffee makers continue to make aluminum or plastic coffee capsules because they do not want to compromise on taste. The argument is that capsules of organic material are not airtight and therefore the coffee loses its flavor.
At ØNSK, however, we have succeeded in finding a producer who has developed an organic, biodegradable material that can keep the coffee inside free of oxygen. The capsules are ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certified and therefore produced on the basis of principles of circular economy and recycling. The packaging that the coffee capsules come in is also FSC-labeled , which means that the packaging is not produced on more paper than the forest can reproduce. The capsules are compostable and produced on wind, water and solar energy.
In the capsules you will find our organic coffee from the Central American mountains in Nicaragua. The coffee is imported and roasted locally in Copenhagen to ensure you an optimal taste experience with fresh coffee. You will find our selection of lungo and espresso capsules below . You can also get the coffee capsules by subscription in our capsule subscription.