According to new research, coffee machine pods are among the worst kinds of human waste for the ecosystem in terms of long-term damage, taking up to 500 years to degrade.
This is significantly longer than plastic drink bottles, which can take over 400 years to dissolve, and significantly longer than aluminium cans, which can take 80-100 years to decompose.
According to Packaging Online’s analysis, 29,000 plastic coffee pods wind up in garbage every month, or nearly 350,000 each year, where they won’t decompose for another half-millennium.
However, the researchers pointed out that buying reusable stainless-steel pods or using compostable pods that degrade in under two months are far less harmful options for coffee pod users.
The study ranked several human-made materials according to how long they took to decay.
Glass is the most long-lasting, with estimations suggesting it might take well over a million years to decompose, despite the fact that it is 100% recyclable and one of the most recycled materials on the planet, according to the researchers.