E.S.E. pods – but not their outer packaging – are compostable, but to minimise their release of CO2, they have to be BURIED. Indeed, if you look at how nature breaks down a tree trunk that has fallen to the ground, you’ll notice how its weight is gradually reduced: the bacteria that cause its decay transform almost all the carbon contained in the wood (which accounts for about 50% of its weight) into CO2.
The environmental impact of a single-dose E.S.E. pod, measured by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, corresponds to 48 grams of CO2.
By comparison, a 130 g cheeseburger emits 5,180 g of CO2 and a 330 ml can of Coca Cola emits 170 g.
These figures are calculated using the so-called “Ecological Balance” which contemplates the emission of CO2 of all the production phases from the coffee plant (or the cattle farm) through to disposal.
The emissions produced by the coffee machine that we use to make our coffee, which are just as important, are not considered, however.