Environmental coffee campaigners the Honest Coffee Company are taking their biodegradable capsules around New Zealand, offering Kiwis a chance to swap their aluminium and plastic capsules for biodegradable ones - as well as trying out some of the coffee.

Josh Cole and Jayden Klinac, who co-founded the Honest Coffee Company in 2012, are the exclusive New Zealand distributors of biodegradable coffee capsules from the Ethical Coffee Company, a French business founded by Nespresso's former chief executive Jean-Paul Gaillard.

The capsules are made from plant fibre and starch, and decompose in less than 180 days, compared with traditional pods which can take up to 500 years.

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The pair are road tripping their way around the North Island to raise awareness about the environmental impact from aluminium and plastic coffee capsules used by companies such as Nespresso, as well as showcasing their biodegradable alternative product.

"We're wanting to educate people - a lot of people don't know about some of the problems that capsules are creating, the aluminium and plastic ones at least, so it's a good way for us to get out there and meet our current customers and consumers and also hopefully educate a few new ones," Klinac said. "We'll be out there meeting people, seeing the country, and driving around, it's a bit of fun and we're also getting a good message out there."

The pair will spend three weeks travelling from Auckland down to Hamilton, New Plymouth, Whanganui to Wellington and then back up through areas including Gisborne, and any town with a Harvey Norman store - which stocks Honest Coffee Company machines and capsules.

Cole said anyone could bring aluminium or plastic coffee capsules and have them replaced with Ethical Coffee Company ones.

"We really want to see a considerable change in the way New Zealanders use their machines so it's kind of a long term goal for us because companies like Nespresso are always going to keep growing, so our main aim is to try and eliminate as many aluminium and plastic capsules that end up in landfills as possible," Cole said. "I don't know if we could ever say that we're finished."

The coffee capsules are cheaper than most capsules in the market and fit Nespresso machines.

Ethical coffee capsules

• Break down in less than 180 days, compared to other capsules which take up to 500 years

• Composed of plant fibre and starch


• Fit any Nespresso machine

• Can be composted