Eco-friendly coffee capsule gives young Kiwis shot at big time


Move over George Clooney, New Zealand’s newest coffee capsule
ambassadors have biodegradable pods that will decompose faster than
orange peel.

Young Auckland entrepreneurs Jayden Klinac, 24, and Josh Cole, 22, formed Honest Coffee Company in November to take on industry giants like Nespresso that have
repeatedly come under fire for the environmental impact of plastic and
aluminium products famously marketed by the Hollywood celebrity.

Klinac and Mr Cole have secured exclusive rights to distribute pods fit
for any Nespresso machine and so green they adhere to strict European

Recent University of Otago graduate Mr Klinac said
he began working on the concept last year with the hopes of designing
his own product, but struggled to find local and affordable solutions.

joined forces with university friend Mr Cole and their research brought
them to the Ethical Coffee Company, a French business founded by
ex-Nespresso chief Jean-Paul Gaillard who left the company to make a
cheaper, green-friendly product.

“There was a growing group of
people who loved the idea of it but refused to get the machine because
of its impact on the environment,” Mr Klinac said.

pods could take more than 500 years to decompose, and had to be emptied
of coffee grounds, have their aluminium lids removed and in some cases
taken to a store to be recycled.

“We wanted to start educating
people about the waste and let them know there is an option out there
… and you don’t need to feel bad throwing these away, you can even put
them straight into your worm farm.”

The pair contacted Mr
Gaillard’s firm, which has successfully fought Nespresso in court over
the product, and secured the New Zealand rights in February – a
considerable feat for young men with no business experience.

we had worked so hard trying to do our own capsules, when it came down
to it they threw us some pretty hard questions. But because we had put
so much time and effort in we could answer everything,” Mr Klinac said.

Cole said the products were available on their website,, and will also be appearing on the shelves of New
World Mt Wellington in the coming weeks. They were increasingly popular
with Australian customers as well, he said.

Nespresso, along with
other coffee pod manufacturers, were named third in New Zealand’s
Unpackit Worst Packaging Awards last year.

Unpackit spokeswoman
Gina Dempster welcomed news of the new pods, but warned it was important
customers knew how to dispose of them correctly.

“If it’s
certified to the European standard that’s fantastic, I think it is
really important to get those Nespresso-like pods out of the waste
stream. People just need to make sure they know which pods can be
disposed of where.”

Nespresso New Zealand Country Manager
Guillaume Chesneau said he could not comment on competitors’ products
but said customers could return pods so they could be recycled in
Auckland. “We take sustainability and recycling very seriously and have
put in place global and local policies and systems to ensure the proper
disposal of used capsules.”

Pod wars

Pod wars Ethical Coffee Company pods
• Made from plant fibres and starch
• Adhere to European environmental standards
• Can be composted and will decompose in 180 days
• Fit any Nespresso machine
• Exclusive rights secured by two young Kiwi entrepreneurs

Other single-serve coffee pods
• Made of plastic and/or aluminium
• Criticised for unnecessary waste
• Can take between 150 and 500-plus years to decompose
• Can only be recycled if coffee grounds and aluminium removed
• Development of multibillion dollar single-serve coffee industry credited to Nespresso

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