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by Adele Bilotta May 11, 2021

Paper, plastic, bamboo, corn-starch, vegetable - you name it, we’ve seen a coffee pod made from it. 

You might be wondering why we still haven’t ventured down the compostable route, and why we’ve steered away from plastic - and trust us, the decision process has been far from simple. But after years of research and hundreds of prototypes, we ultimately decided to make CRU Kafe coffee pods aluminium. 

Better for you, us and the planet; read below to understand more on why we’ve chosen to use aluminium. 

Why Aluminium?

Recyclability

It’s simple - 100% aluminium is 100% recyclable. It’s highly durable, infinitely recyclable and unlike plastic, there’s no decay in quality. In fact, over three-quarters of all aluminium ever produced (nearly one billion tonnes!) is still in use today. Because aluminium is so environmentally friendly, it’s even known as ‘the green metal.’

Compatibility

As NespressoⓇ machines were originally created for the use of aluminium capsules, aluminium is the only material that ensures pour after pour of beautiful, crema-topped espresso. We found that plastic or compostable pods sometimes would deform and therefore malfunction. From a compatibility point of view, no other material comes close to aluminium in our coffee machines.

Barrier-Proofing (Taste)

Both compostable and recyclable pods have a huge problem, and that’s keeping the coffee they contain fresh. Aluminium is hands down the best material to protect the taste, aroma and freshness of the coffee altogether - it is flavourless, odourless, and impermeable. 

Our completely sealed aluminium pods provide a complete barrier against moisture, bacteria, oxygen and light, meaning that not only does your coffee stay fresher for longer, it also
stops unnecessary waste. 

Why Not...

Compostable

From the start, our biggest hope here at CRU was to simply find a biodegradable pod that could be thrown away with normal food waste, safe in the knowledge that it would degrade and disappear in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, we haven’t found the perfect alternative just yet.

Besides the issues with compatibility and the freshness of coffee we experienced with virtually every compostable pod we tried, the ultimate deciding factor came from honing in on exactly how they would be composted. 

Some compostable pods need to be composted industrially via your home food waste collection, while others can go in a home compost heap. With our research, showing that with even the best of intentions, only 15% of capsules would be composted correctly.

This isn’t to say that we have stopped looking for a biodegradable alternative; here at CRU Kafe we are constantly looking for more eco-friendly alternatives whilst still maintaining the highest quality pour everytime. 

Plastic

Again, like compostable pods, compatibility and freshness were a recurring issue. The plastic could sometimes melt in the machine resulting in deficient pours and because plastic is porous, the coffee doesn’t stay as fresh for as long, thus resulting in a shorter shelf life. 

However, the bottom line for us was the mountains of waste the plastic pods created. 

Because limiting waste has been one of our main goals from CRU’s humble beginnings, we’ve worked hard to ensure that every part of what arrives at your door, from the outer packaging to the pod itself, can be recycled.

The bottom line

In short, our mission here at CRU is simple - to make a better cup of coffee in a sustainable and ethical way that impacts our environment as little as possible.

Whilst ensuring maximum freshness, taste, compatibility and recyclability, aluminium is our preferred choice for ensuring you get the most out of your CRU coffee. 

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For more information on how to recycle our pods, click here.

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Adele Bilotta
Adele Bilotta

Birthstone is a coffee bean. Head of Customer Experience and resident American.



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