Coffee is a very polluting industry, with most bags having plastic to keep the coffee safe (and the new biodegradable eucalyptus bags are now controversial, as these flammable trees grown to excess are causing forest fires, which kill wildlife). The best way to buy coffee is simply to find beans from a local zero waste shop, and grind them yourself. Then you have all the plastic from the machines that make coffee to disposable coffee pods and coffee filters. Here are some zero waste alternatives. It’s best to avoid coffee if pregnant or nursing.
Ordinary People Glass Coffee Dripper is made with durable borosilicate amber glass. This stylish coffee dripper is perfect in the kitchen, and combines form, function and great design. It works with Hario filters and all other cone papers (takes 2 size filters). No coffee filters included.
This personalised handmade coffee dripper is the perfect gift, for everyone who likes their caffeine. The laser-etched wooden stand can be personalised, and the top line can say ‘freshly brewed’, if wished. The set includes a wooden stand, a V60 coffee dripper, a 600ml glass server, filter papers and a scoop for coffee beans. The coffee dripper itself is made from solid oaks, and the dripper made from borosilicate heatproof glass.
Zero Waste Coffee Filters
Zero waste coffee filters offer an alternative to disposable filters that are usually bleached with chlorine (which releases chemicals at landfill) and often sold in plastic packaging. Not everyone uses coffee filters, but they are popular especially for offices and businesses of service, like hair salons.
The other people that tend to use coffee filters are those people who are very fussy about their coffee. Using freshly roasted grounds tends to produce a better cup of coffee than just whizzing out a teaspoon and making a mug of coffee from a jar. Either way, there are better choices out there.
- Cloth coffee filters work the same as paper filters, but obviously can be reused. Again they can last months or years, with good. CoffeeSock (US) is made in Texas. It costs 25% less than premium paper filters and brews brighter than a French press, and richer than a paper filter. Just brew, rinse and hang to dry. Each pack lasts around 1 year (replaces around 500 filters) then compost.
- Stainless Steel Coffee Filters last 20 years (sent in a cardboard box). Sit on top of a mug or jug, add ground coffee and boiling water. It’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The wide mouth and handle rests in teapots, mugs, cups or glass bottles, and the fine mesh filters smallest grounds. Remove stains with baking soda, dissolved in warm water. Australia’s Icon Chef also sells a reusable stainless steel coffee filter.
- If You Care Unbleached Coffee Filters (UK) are disposable. But they are unbleached and sold in a pack of 100 for no.4 size filters. Just place one one filter in the cone or basket, add 1 teaspoon of coffee for each cup, then compost after use.
- One-Cup Coffee Filters are ideal for people who drink or serve a lot of coffee. You can also buy one-cup brewing machines. These are all around the £40 mark, so depends on how much filtered coffee you drink, as to whether they are worth buying. Salter Personal To-Go Coffee Maker has its own reusable filter, to stop paper waste.