Make all coffee pods in Canada compostable — we have the technology, let’s use it!

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Upwards of 1.5 billion single-serve plastic coffee pods are used in Canada each year.
Most of those pods end up in dumps, landfills or as part of the estimated eight million tonnes of plastics added to our oceans yearly.
Despite the widening knowledge of these facts, a solid 30% percent of Canadian coffee drinkers still use single-serve coffee pods. Calls to use a French press or “refillable” pods haven’t made a significant difference to national sales figures.
What if there was a way to mitigate or even eliminate the mountains of waste created by coffee pods? Single-serve pods may be here to stay, but they don’t have to create plastics waste.
Last year, British Columbia-based OneCoffee proudly announced a 100% compostable coffee pod made with a plant-based (PLA) plastic. A product four years in the making, it has been proven to break down in commercial composting conditions but doesn’t sacrifice quality or flavour. It also sells for the same price as less environmentally conscious plastic pods.
Our Ontario-based competitor, Club Coffee, also offers a compostable pod.
Canada’s two largest coffee roasters have each invested millions of dollars and years of research to become international market leaders in compostable coffee-pod technology.
And yet, many of the private contractors that Canadian municipalities employ to process their green waste do not accept compostable pods.
Despite private members’ bills introduced in both the British Columbia Legislatureand the Legislative Assembly of Ontario*, progress on this issue has been slow moving.
Canadian consumers have proven their support for compostable coffee pods.
Two of the largest coffee roasters in the country have invested heavily in cutting-edge compostable technology.
But the final hurdle seems to be a lack of motivation on the part of green waste service providers hired by individual municipalities.
We at OneCoffee believe that only a nationally recognized federal standard will ultimately force municipalities and their waste-management contractors to accept compostable single-use pods.
We are calling on Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change to ban the sale of non-compostable coffee pods across Canada and to enact legislation requiring all green-waste contractors across the country to accept 100% compostable coffee pods at their facilities.
It’s time to implement these made-in-Canada solutions to plastics waste: First across Canada, then across the world.

*Private Members’ bills requiring all single-use pods sold in B.C. and Ontario to be compostable and for municipalities and their waste management contractors to accept those pods as green waste were introduced by BC Liberal MLA for Richmond-Queensborough Jas Johal in 2018 and Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka Norm Miller in 2017.