To Pod or Not to Pod

You have a very important exam tomorrow and you are not finished studying yet; you need to stay up the entire night to finish the syllabus. What is going to help you stay up? Some freshly brewed specialty coffee, of course! 

You get up and go to the kitchen to make some coffee with your pod. While making some coffee, you start to think: Are coffee pods the way to go? Is it good for the environment? Sure, they help you make some really good coffee, but it has a dark side to it. 

Every coffee lover has to face a dilemma over ‘to pod or not to pod’. The answer is simple, really. You need to put the environment before your cravings. And besides, it is not like there aren’t any viable alternatives to get your single serve specialty coffee

In this article, we shall look at why you should not be using coffee pods.

1. They Are Not Recyclable

This planet has given you so much happiness. The least you could do is at least give something back. Plastic coffee pods like K-cups and Nespresso are not biodegradable. They generally contain small plastic containers along with an aluminum foil lid. 

Once you are done with the coffee, the containers are no longer of use and are thrown into the trash.

In Australia alone, it has been estimated that approximately 6 million disposable coffee cups are being consumed and sent to the landfill each day. Can you imagine the pile-up? Those things are slowly suffocating the planet because they take 500 years to break down. Not only that, but they also emit harmful carbon emissions. 

The manufacturers are trying to make them ‘recyclable’ and that is a lost cause. Recycling facilities do not take them. So, in short, it is a disaster situation for the planet and the environment.

Even if this does not convince you to stop using coffee pods, you can at least try to recycle them even though it is tricky now because of legal and disposal related issues. What you can do is detach the aluminum tab from the plastic part of the capsule and wash it to eliminate the coffee grounds. Then properly dispose of it in the dustbin. 

We know this may seem a lot of work but you’ll be doing your Mother Earth a favor. 

What about the aluminum lid? That can be disposed of as well. Drop them in glass or aluminum waste tasks in compliance with the rules of the municipality of residences. Not ready to put in the effort? Then, please stop using coffee pods!

2. They Are Not Good For Our Health 

Some good coffee from a pod may be delicious, but it has health consequences as well. Your health and fitness should come above all your needs and cravings. Are you wondering how exactly coffee pods are bad for your health? Something so good and delicious can’t be bad for us, right? 


  • Furan 

It has been recently revealed that coffee capsules contain furan, a toxic aroma that is formed at high temperatures. On average, everyone drinks 3 to 4 cups of coffee every day. 

If you keep consuming furan in large numbers, that can be detrimental to your health. You can develop skin lesions, have a weaker immunity, liver issues if you consume too many toxic chemicals like furan in your body.

  • Plastic 

You cannot forget coffee pods are made out of plastic. Single serve coffee may be pleasant to you but what about the plastic chemicals like BPA, BFS, BPS, which seep into the hot beverage? Those chemicals have a direct linkage to hormonal imbalance, weight gain, and fertility problems.

  • Aluminum 

You should not disregard aluminum either. The top of coffee pods are usually made with aluminum and they have health problems on its own. Too much exposure can lead to Alzheimer’s, autism, depression, and even autoimmune diseases.

  • Mold, Algae, and Biofilms 

We’re not done yet! Recently, a microbiologist has revealed that pods provide an ideal environment for things like mold, mildew, algae, and biofilm to thrive as the insides of the tank cannot be properly cleaned, creating a moist, dark, and warm atmosphere. Needless to say, those things are not good for your health.

3. They Are Too Expensive

Honestly, it does not take a lot of money to enjoy a hot freshly brewed single serve specialty coffee. Coffee pods are absolutely ripping you off! Sure, they may be convenient but with such little coffee in each pod, a pound of coffee would cost you over $50! Yikes. 

The retail price of a 50 count pack coffee pod is a whopping $28. That amounts to 56 cents per serving. Pods from Starbucks are even more expensive, costing up to $12 per pack. 

Not only are you spending your hard-earned cash on these unnecessary pods, but it is also taking a toll on our planet as well. It has been revealed that a massive 9.8 billion pods were sold in 2015. Imagine the massacre! That is a LOT of plastic and metal for our poor Earth to swallow, or to choke on! 

Save your money for other necessities. Enjoying your favorite beverage should not be such an expensive habit. Never go for convenience over what is best for you and your beloved planet.

4. They Are Not Sustainable 

Considering how things are with our planet, you should always value sustainability. Coffee from pods is not sustainable. Those electrical pods use a lot of power to make your beverage. If you keep using it to make coffee, you are going to get a hefty electric bill every month.

You should always prioritize sustainability over convenience. No need for such expensive, power-hungry pods anymore. Just make your own sustainable coffee at home. Let us guide you on how to do it right.

  • See if the coffee you are using is sustainable 
  • Check where the beans are coming from. Did it cause deforestation? Was it grown in a sustainable manner with a fair wage? Look for sustainable brands like FairTrade, USDA Organic, etc. 

  • Carry washable mugs with you 
  • If you have to go out for your favorite drink, carry a bug with you, and refuse to use those plastic cups they give you. Point it out to them that they are not environmentally friendly at all. If they can’t go for any other alternative, ask them to at least use compostable cups or to provide a recycling bin nearby.

  • Don’t waste extra coffee grounds 
  • When you are done making a hot drink at home, don’t throw the leftover beans in the trash. Donate them to the local gardening groups. Coffee can be used as an outstanding fertilizer which will nourish the depleted soils by providing nutrients and support plant growth.  

  • Use Water and Energy more resourcefully 
  • When you are making a drink at home, don’t use too much water. Estimate how many cups you need before pouring it in. Even if you have to use pods, don’t let it run longer than it is necessary.

  • Just use coffee bags 
  • This is the simplest way of getting sustainable coffee. Just order coffee bags online and mix it with water. That is it. And they can be specialty as well!

    5. Coffee From Pods Are Not As Tasty 

    Now, this may vary from people to people but if you want a really delicious cup of your favorite beverage, pods might not be a good idea. Lots of people say a freshly-brewed pod coffee tastes stale and burnt. 

    One of the reasons it can sometimes taste horrible is the grind. By the time the drink is finished, it has already begun to go stale. This is because the coffee was probably ground days, weeks, years before you consume it. 

    A very important factor in the taste of your favorite beverage is the heat of the water you brew it with. Ideal brewing temperatures are in the range of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below that leads to ‘’flat, under-extracted coffee’’. Most coffee pods brew at 192 degrees or less. 

    Coffee grounds should be in touch with hot water for a considerable amount of time for it to taste good. At least 5 minutes is recommended. Unfortunately, most machines finish making the beverage within seconds, leading to not so tasty coffee.

    6. They Discourage Baristas From Making Coffee With Their Own Hands

    As we have mentioned before, the taste of coffee which is made manually can be absolutely delicious. Since people care about convenience more nowadays, all coffee shops have pods that brew coffee. For a hardcore coffee lover, that can be a terrible thing because nothing can beat a handmade coffee. 

    Shop owners discourage baristas from using their hands. Your money goes down the drain because you could have made a better cup of specialty coffee at home. 

    7. They Are Banned In Certain Places

    Some of the governments throughout the world have taken a bold step to ban coffee pods. Among most notable of those is the city of Hamburg. The German city said they were undergoing an environmental drive to reduce waste and have found coffee pods to be menacing. Hence, they banned the pods from state-run buildings. 

    ‘’These portions packs cause needless resource usage, generates waste, and often has polluting aluminum’’ a source from Hamburg declared.  ‘’These pods cannot be recycled easily because they are usually made of plastic and aluminum’’ another Hamburg official has added.

    If you think only the Germans feel this way, you’d be wrong. 1 in 10 people from Britain said they think ‘’coffee pods are horrible for the environment’’ And it was revealed that 22% of them own a fancy coffee machine. 

    And that’s not all, even John Sylvan, the creator of the most famous K-cup single serve coffee pod, said she regrets ever coming up with the invention due to the destruction it is causing. 

    Those evil things are already out there in the world. They can’t be unmade. What can be done, however, is completely stopping the usage of those unnecessary pods. There is even a campaign called ‘’Kill the K-Cup’’. Lots of activists around the world are taking apart in it. Won’t you?

    Wrapping Up

    In this article, we have seen why you should not be using pods to make your favorite beverage. They are not environmentally friendly. Millions and millions of cups are piling up, creating a landfill issue and is polluting the earth. Our Mother Earth is dying.

    Pod coffee doesn’t even taste as good, so why would you bother spending your well-earned money on them? You can just order coffee bags online and have it delivered to your doorstep in less than 30 minutes. 5280 Coffee Co is your best bet for delicious, sustainable coffee.

    If nothing else convinces you, you should at least take the health ramifications into consideration. Don’t you want to live a long, healthy life? We’re sure you do. Some places are banning those nasty things for a reason!

    Never prioritize convenience over anything else. We get it. Pods are useful. Just pop one in the machine, push some buttons and there’s your beverage ready to be consumed. Yes, you may be able to save some time from your hectic schedule, but our planet is losing time. There’s only so much it can take. Don’t contribute to its destruction.