Remember when George Clooney became the spokesperson for Nespresso? It was not only the leading man’s charming pitch that had coffee lovers flocking to the stores to buy espresso machines, but also the appeal of waking up and brewing their own caffeinated goodness right at home with no fuss. Now we can’t do without the single-serving coffee products. But alas, nothing lasts forever…except the coffee pods, apparently. Brands like Nespresso use materials that aren’t recyclable; they are a combination of plastics and aluminum with organic matter inside, which researchers say can take up to 500 years to break down! Considering that the global market for the pods went from 7 billion to 17 billion in 2015 alone, we’re talking about literally tons of trash.
But don’t worry, you may not have to give up the convenience of the single servings just yet. There are folks at the Ethical Coffee Company and Easy Serving Espresso Pods that offer paper coffee pods that are fully biodegradable. By sticking with one of these brands, you can still get your morning boost without causing too much of a jolt to the environment.