More roasters are adding capsules to their range, and unlike the big companies like Starbucks who use aluminium pods, many smaller and independent businesses want a more sustainable option.

Now Scottish roastery, Gordon Street Coffee, has launched biodegradable and compostable Nespresso compatible coffee capsules, which some are calling a UK first. This is because the capsules are made of a material called Solinatra, which is a sustainable, biomaterial alternative to single-use plastics.

The small-batch coffee producer and roastery, one of the first companies in the UK to roast its own coffee in-store, claims that its Solinatra capsules are the “first truly sustainable” coffee capsule in the UK market.

While there are coffee capsules that are marketed as technically recyclable, only a small proportion gets to specialist recycling centres. Even then, there are often still components of plastic or aluminium.

The brand behind the material, which is also named Solinatra, under the Coda Group family, came up with this revolutionary biomaterial, that looks and feels like plastic, using by-products of harvested crops and plant-based additives. This material is said to be able to be safely composted with zero contamination or microplastics.

CEO of Coda Group, Robert de Jong stated:

Customers choose coffee capsules because they are easy and convenient, but recycling options are difficult and impractical. Innovations in compostable materials, enable a simple solution.

Solinatra capsules can go in a food waste collection or garden compost bin and will degrade without contamination or pollution.

The company also asserts that materials used, are sourced and then produced in the UK, hence lowering the environmental footprint to “a fraction of traditional materials”.

Gordon Street Coffee’s Solinatra coffee capsules, available in packs of ten, are available for purchase at the roastery’s Glasgow and Edinburgh locations, as well as on their website.


  • Azra Syakirah spends much of her time travelling asia, photographing and writing about cafe's and coffee experiences. She has lived in Malaysia, Singapore, and more recently Japan, where she resides in the capital, Tokyo.

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