Composting is as old as, well, dirt. Compost was known to the Greeks and Romans and there are plenty of references to the cultivation of the soil in the Bible. Composting has come a long way since then, but the idea that natural processes can provide sustainable solutions to modern problems is a lesson that still rings true, especially today.
Every year, over 40 billion petroleum-based single-serve coffee pods end up in landfills around the world, where they take over a thousand years to break down. Many plastics depend on UV and infrared light from the sun to break them down, a process called “photodegradation” — but with new layers constantly being added to municipal waste-sites, plastics rarely see the light of day.
So when NEXE Innovations went looking for a way to tackle the huge environmental impact created by single-use, petroleum-based plastic coffee pods, composting stood out as a tried and true method. The trick would be finding a material that could decompose through normal composting methods, but was also durable enough to handle the heat and pressure created in an espresso machine.
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