Smile Compostable Solutions offers plant-based coffee pods designed to compost in backyard compost systems. These pods are a sustainable alternative to petroleum plastic, providing a simple, single-use experience while eliminating hard-to-recycle materials. 

Two green coffee pods

Now customers can fuel their day with the convenience of a Keurig-style machine without the waste associated with single-use plastic pods. The company’s home compostable coffee pods can be tossed directly into the home compost pile. 

Related: Compostable packaging from TIPA takes plastic out of the equation

Smile Coffee Werks, a tactical sub-brand of Smile Compostable Solutions, developed a pod that can be used in the popular Nespresso Original brewers. The design was selected as a finalist for the 2023 Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award by the U.S. Plastics Pact. 

A hand putting a coffee pod into a compost bin with a coffee maker beside with a bowl of coffee pods

“Innovation is at the heart of Smile’s strategy for convenience and sustainability,” said CEO and Cofounder Michael Sand. “The company is proud to be recognized as a finalist for this prestigious award alongside other companies who are making a difference in the steps toward a circular economy. Addressing single-use plastic with high carbon footprints and low recycling rates is key to a sustainable future.”

Smile Compostable Solutions holds a range of certifications, including BPI certified and OK COMPOST according to TÜV Austria/Vincotte. They are BPA and PFAS Free and have obtained the Certified BPI Commercially Compostable certification. The bio capsule material is biodegradable according to DIN EN ISO 14855, and the sealing ring is compostable according to supplier’s declaration and certified according to DIN EN 13432:2000-12. 

Rows of coffee boxes

Smile takes pride in having the most certifications in the industry, emphasizing their dedication to sustainable and compostable packaging. To achieve these certifications, all individual components of the pods, including the pod itself, filter, adhesives and inks, undergo certification processes. The Smile pod system is sold as a complete package, simplifying the transition to compostable and sustainable solutions. 

A green background with a cardboard packaging and green straws sticking out of it

In terms of sourcing and manufacturing, Smile responsibly sources their coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and collaborates with various roasters, primarily based in Germany. The pods themselves are manufactured exclusively in Germany, in factories using renewable energy sources such as wind, sun, hydropower and biogas.

The product’s outer packaging is made from recycled paperboard without added plastic bags, wrappers or seals, and it is fully recyclable. The company’s supply chain is certified Climate Neutral through ClimatePartner.

+ Smile Coffee Werks 

Images via Smile Compostable Solutions