UBC scientist develops new compostable coffee pod that aims to keep java fresher

A UBC scientist has teamed up with a Surrey company to invent a new compostable coffee pod that they say solves one of the biggest problems of compostable pods. Linda Aylesworth reports.

A scientist at the University of British Columbia has teamed up with a Surrey company to make a coffee pod he says is good for both the environment and coffee lovers.

Zac Hudson, assistant professor in UBC’s Dept. of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, and Surrey-based NEXE Innovations have created their own fully-compostable coffee pod.

Hudson said the pods are composed of a bamboo-fibre exterior and a bioplastic plant-based material interior.

“Right now over 40 billion single-serve coffee pods are disposed of every year and virtually all of these go straight to landfill,” Hudson said. “Very few are even recycled.”

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While the idea of compostable pods isn’t new, Hudson says their product keeps coffee fresher for longer, avoiding one of the major complaints from coffee aficionados have about pods.

“We found that competing alternatives in the compostable pod space allowed air to get in a little too quickly and so the coffee would go stale,” Hudson said.

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The pods compost completely in as little as 35 days and are compatible with all Keurig K-Cup systems. Pods compatible with Nespresso systems will be available this year.

Hudson said the product launched on the xoma.ca website and sold out within an hour.

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