Vancouver company patents first 100% biodegradable coffee pod
Lynda Steele and Sandra Hermiston, CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, June 22, 2015 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 22, 2015 7:36PM PDT
A made-in-Vancouver invention is offering a solution to a potential environmental disaster.
The K-Cup is the world’s most popular single-serve coffee container and it is estimated 10 billion of the single-serve coffee pods are thrown into North American landfills every year.
Now, a Vancouver entrepreneur has created the G-Kup to combat that problem. He says it’s the world’s first 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable solution.
The G-Kup is made of a sugar cane and bamboo sleeve with a biodegradable polymer lining that stands up to the heat of the brewing process.
"When you finish with the G-Kup and you throw them in here, we've seen complete degradation within 30 days. If you came back in two weeks, you wouldn't see the cup or the lid." said Darren Footz, G-Kup Coffee CEO.
Compare that to the ubiquitous K-Cup that could take thousands of years to break down
Scientists at UBC's Composites Research Network are helping develop the G-Kup with federal grant money. Making sure the compostable pod doesn't leach chemicals, sacrifice taste or quality.
"It's exciting to be on the cutting edge, doing something that's both useful for people, makes their life a bit more convenient, quicker and then it's good for the environment as well," Casey Keulen, of Composites Research Network.
The Vancouver based G-Kup team claims to hold an international patent for their technology saying it's the world's first 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable single-serve coffee pod.
Club Coffee in Toronto is in the process of developing a similar product. So now it's a race to get the environmentally friendly pods onto store shelves.
“We think we can have G-Kup ready for market late quarter this year, or early quarter next, 2016," said Footz.
It's estimated Keurig alone will sell close to $5 billion worth of coffee pods this year. G-Kup already has some big coffee businesses interested in its product.
The company says the G-Kup will be priced competitively. It also plans to move onto creating other compostable products like yogurt and dairy creamers.