Within the US, over half of the population drinks coffee. That’s 150 million people getting their caffeine fix, and typically at a three cup per day average. Additionally, single-use coffee pods have become a popular choice for caf-fiends with 41% of Americans owning a single-cup coffee maker.
Great for productivity, but not so awesome for our environment, over 50 billion paper cups are thrown away within the U.S. each year. It’s even said that discarded coffee pods, which are made of aluminum and plastic, could circle the entire globe a staggering 10 times. Despite this level of massive waste, coffee popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
To help combat coffee consumption waste, forward-thinking company NEXE Innovations has created the world’s first compostable single-use coffee pods. Founded in 2015, NEXE Innovations uses 3D-printing to design, prototype and patent the pods, offering a sustainable option for eco-conscious coffee lovers. The idea came through a desire to replace non-biodegradable plastic. Spending six years in development, the company is now a leader in plant-based manufacturing. Their first commercial product is aptly-named the NEXEpod.
“Through continued trial and error, we have developed a pod that can consistently withstand the heat and pressure of a Keurig coffee brewing system while also being plant-based, fully compostable and still provides the freshness and great taste that our consumers expect from a good cup of coffee. To be able to provide these qualities and do so in batches of thousands of pods at a time has been a very difficult process and a definite engineering feat,” says Ash Guglani, President of NEXE Innovations.
The company currently uses 3D-printing technology to quickly design the NEXEpods, moving from design to concept in under a day. They now have most of the necessary equipment to produce over 230 million of the bamboo and corn based pods per year.
Introduced earlier this year, XOMA Superfoods is the company’s in-house coffee and superfoods brand. Created as a vehicle to deliver high quality coffee and superfoods to market, XOMA also helps to ensure NEXE adheres to their sustainability goals. The first product offered was a soluble micro-ground coffee blend fortified in MCT-oil and packaged in the NEXEpod. Since then, they’ve expanded to offer additional options like their Keto and Mushroom coffees, each of which can be ordered online.
Moving forward, NEXE Innovations plans to continue expanding their proprietary coffee and superfoods lines into conscious coffee consumers. Only available on their website and Amazon currently, the company hopes to achieve Amazon Prime status soon. They’re also in talks with various other online platforms that cater to plant-based and coffee enthusiasts.