Lincoln-based San Francisco Bay Coffee Co. on Thursday introduced what it’s calling a breakthrough in environmentally friendly single-serve coffee pods.
The company’s “No Waste OneCup” product, which offers pods and packaging made entirely of compostable and recyclable materials, can be found at Costco stores nationwide. The OneCup initially is available with the company’s French Roast blend.
“The ‘No Waste OneCup’ is a huge step toward potentially reducing the environmental footprint associated with single-serve coffees,” said Jim Rogers, one of four Rogers siblings who run the family-owned firm. “Now that San Francisco Bay Coffee has shown we can produce pods made from 100 percent compostable materials that come in recyclable packaging, we’re hoping the industry follows suit so we can really move the needle on coffee-related waste.”
Company officials said finding the right compostable materials to meet its standards presented a challenge, but “recent innovations in materials science” made it possible. They added that the company has obtained compostable certifications from the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute.
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The Lincoln firm said that single-serve coffee pods now make up nearly 37 percent of all coffee sales, citing data from the National Coffee Association. Consequently, discarded single-serve pods number in the multiple millions.
The company’s OneCup pods are sealed inside a compostable bag and sold in a recyclable corrugated cardboard box, which means OneCup customers with access to industrial composting services or facilities don’t have to throw any part of the single-serve pod or packaging into the trash.
“We know that most people want the option to recycle or compost their single-serve pods, but we also understand that doing so needs to be convenient or else people won’t do it,” John Rogers, the company’s vice president of sales, said in a statement. “If you have to go through multiple steps to separate materials in order to recycle a coffee pod, we know a lot of those will end up in the garbage. And we also thought: ‘What’s the point of making a compostable pod if you’re just going to seal it inside a non-recyclable bag?’ ”
The company said that in the coming months it will roll out the “No Waste OneCup” for other branded coffee blends, including Fog Chaser, Breakfast Blend, Decaf French Roast and Organic Rainforest. Other retailers and online sales also will be added.
The company noted that composting facilities can be found at findacomposter.com.