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Hugely popular for their ease of use, single-serve coffee capsules and pods sell by the billions. While theoretically recyclable, most aren't and end up in the trash, creating tons of unnecessary aluminum and plastic waste. Now, a Swiss brand has come up with a more sustainable alternative: coffee balls.
CoffeeB's small spheres are made of ground beans wrapped in a protective plant and mineral coating that keeps the coffee fresh and preserves its aroma for three months after a pack is opened. The balls are dropped into a coffee maker that works like a standard capsule machine. But once a lungo or espresso has been brewed, what's left can be garden-composted or added to potted plants as fertilizer, breaking down within weeks in damp soil.
CoffeeB was developed by a subsidiary of Swiss retailer Migros and just launched in Switzerland and France, with Germany to follow in Q2 2023. Machines retail at CHF 169/EUR 179, with coffee balls at CHF 4.95/EUR 3.69 for a pack of nine organic espresso servings. All of the brand's roast all carry sustainable certification, either Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade or organic, and the machine was designed to be easily repaired.
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