Over 56 billion coffee capsules to go to landfill this year

More than half of people did not know the difference between recyclable, compostable and biodegradable

Over 56 billion coffee capsules to go to landfill this year

Image: Halo Coffee

It is estimated that more than 56 billion coffee capsules will go to landfill around the world this year.

That is according to British research from compostable coffee capsule maker, Halo.

Its research suggests 82% of people surveyed have no idea that plastic and aluminium capsules cause damage to the planet - with 42% confessing they just throw them in the bin.

Over 50% say they have no idea of the difference between recyclable, compostable and biodegradable - and blame coffee manufacturers for confusing them.

It also shows that 23% of consumers are not fully aware that most compostable coffee capsules are industrial, and not compostable at home.

While 19% do not know aluminium and plastic coffee capsules that go to landfill take up to 500 years to degrade.

Globally, 59 billion coffee capsules will be produced in 2018 - 112,252 per minute worldwide.

Over 95% are still plastic and aluminium - that is 56.05 billion capsules this year alone going to landfill.

Image: Halo Coffee

Halo says Nespresso will produce 12 billion capsules this year, with only 30% being recycled.

The research comes from 2,000 coffee drinkers representative of the UK population in October 2018.

Richard Hardwick is co-founder Halo: "Our survey shows widespread confusion about how to recycle coffee capsules properly and this is leading to an environmental disaster with millions of plastic and aluminium capsules going to landfill every day.

"In our survey, only 18% of people said they knew that coffee capsules pollute the planet. This is really worrying.

"The coffee capsule industry is responding by using alternative materials.. but this terminology is leaving consumers even more puzzled about what to do with the capsules."

A separate study earlier this year suggested that 22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour.

Recycling List Ireland said this translates to 528,000 every day or 200 million a year.

It is thought as many as six single use coffee cups are disposed of here every second.