MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — It’s no secret that single-use plastic coffee pods have created massive waste across the world.
Gary and Julie Haynes Kratzer started Green Pod Coffee Packing in Chesterfield County to help combat the pollution.
The Midlothian couple partnered with ICA, an innovative Italian company, to bring 100% compostable coffee pods to the specialty coffee industry in the United States.
The small business owners purchased the company’s first machine in a small version to help local roasters pack and sell a single-use, but 100%, fully compostable K-cup.
“Everything here will compost from even the hard part of the capsule,” Julie explained. “There's one ring that is rigid. That's what holds it in your brewing machine. That is the last piece that disappears. If you put it in your compost bin, the paper goes very quickly.”
The ring is made of vegetable resins and coffee by-product. The pods can be put in a compost bin and returned to the Earth using these plant-based materials and renewable resources.
“It’s amazing what they’ve been able to do,” she said. “We are able to test these new materials.”
If fact, used plastic K-cups for Keurig coffee machines would wrap the world 10 times.
"Currently the US does not have an official certification for home composting. The only certifications available in the States are based on measured conditions in an industrial facility. We have those official certifications, but GreenPods can in fact be composted in your backyard as well. We do so at our home. And there are a few local businesses offering "non-industrial" composting services to help you compost your home or business waste," Julie stated.
Guide Roasting Company works with Compost RVA to compost their business waste locally.
Green Pod Coffee pods can be disposed in a household or backyard compost bin.
Historically, the inventor of the original K-cup regretted his creation because the product is non-recyclable. Disposable K-cups end up in landfills and are rarely recycled.
The new pods are available onlineor at the couple’s Midlothian shop at 1709 Oak Lake Boulevard.
Legacy Roasting out of Hopewell, Bugle Call Coffee, and Maharajah Coffee are local businesses that currently package with Green Pod.