For some, it’s a daily conundrum, to brew the old-fashioned environmentally friendly way, or use a coffee pod. Sure, single serve coffee pods are mankind’s easiest and way of brewing single cups of coffee, yet there’s a downside. In an age of increasing environmental friendliness, tossing away non-biodegradable plastic coffee packs into landfills doesn’t seem very forward thinking. Couple that with the fact that manufacturing and packaging coffee pods consumes natural resources and the convenience of coffee pods seems to come at a high cost. Fortunately, companies are beginning to take notice, and action.
One of the companies looking to reduce the negative impact of single-serve coffee pods is Mars Drinks, who make their business by providing coffee to workplaces. They’ve developed a new, more earth friendly, coffee pod design, known as a Freshpack, for their single-serve packaging that promises to reduce it’s carbon footprint by 31 percent.
This carbon footprint claim is backed up by the engineering firm WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, who conducted a Life Cycle Assessment on Mars’ Coffee Pods. The analysis, which was in accordance with international standards, (ISO 14044:2006 Life Cycle Assessment) took into account the entire packaging process across all stages, from raw material extraction through distribution.
Mars Drinks Global President Xavier Unkovic declares the redesign of the single-serve packaging to be a major milestone for the company’s sustainability initiatives.
“Our single most important sustainability priority over the next five years is solving the waste challenge for workplaces around the world that choose Mars Drinks,” said Uncovic.
Mars Drinks, a workplace focused division of the world-renowned food and candy manufacturer, Mars, considered upstream environmental factors when examining their own carbon footprint reduction. It took a fresh look at it’s Freshpack production process and discovered that it was the material extraction of aluminum that was making the most significant impact on their carbon footprint.
The act of removing aluminum resulted in a 40% reduction of emissions from the raw material extraction process. And the new packaging is just as effective at not only preserving freshness but also eliminating flavor cross-over from previous brews.
In accordance with their new approach towards sustainability, Mars will continue to promote it’s Recycle Your Freshpacks program, in an effort to divert 100% of Freshpacks sold in North America from landfills. Since 2011, Mars Drinks has seen a 312 percent increase in Freshpack recycling.