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Brief Published: 20 Apr 2015

Dissolvable Coffee Pods

Droops coffee machine

Aiming to offer a sustainable alternative to the plastic coffee pod, Singaporean designer Eason Chow has developed a prototype coffee maker that works with dissolvable coffee pods.

The Droops machine uses pods made of sugar that dissolve into the coffee as hot water is poured through them. The pods are available in various shapes and sizes to allow for different types of coffee to be made. Drinkers can also tailor the amount of sugar to their liking by using thick pods that contain more sugar or smaller pods made from less.

"I saw an opportunity to redesign the packaging to be more sustainable as well as designing a coffee machine that is appealing during use," Chow told Stylus. "The new design [also] presents users with a visual and sensual experience of coffee making."

The plastic pods used in single-serve coffee machines create vast amounts of waste, as the majority of them cannot be recycled. Brands are beginning to create recyclable pods and cups.

US-based coffee company Keurig Green Mountain, which manufactures Keurig machines, has pledged to make 100% of its K-Cups recyclable by 2020, while Swiss-owned Nespresso has launched a recycling scheme that lets consumers reuse pods. For more on this trend, see Coffee: At-Home Innovation.

For further insight into sustainable, dissolvable and edible packaging, see Packaging Futures: Sustainability, Shape-Shifting Packaging and Packaging to Survive Modern Life.