Here in Southern California, the first week of July is dedicated to cleaning up our beaches. For anyone who has taken part in these clean-ups, you see some pretty heart-breaking things. Just when it felt like we were making progress, everyone panicked during the pandemic and mother earth took a back seat once again. I'm sure we all saw it -- the errant mask blowing down the street and rubber gloves discarded at random. Our bottle distributor had a big note on the front of their website that they had a shortage of PET containers. Everyone was ordering dinner for delivery that came in plastic containers, plastic forks and in plastic bags.
We are a society of convenience. We want to help the planet, but the vast majority are only willing to do it if it doesn't inconvenience them too much.
Early one, Single Serve Co established a mission to help small businesses reach a target audience that they had been shut out from for a long time. We had an idea to create branded keurig compatible pods in small quantities. The premise of creating only what you need is the first step to less waste. But we wanted to take it a step further. We sourced compostable materials and were giddy with visions of a community garden where we buried our customer's COMPO cups.
Not so fast. We then learned that most compostable products aren't meant to go directly into your garden. They are meant to go to an industrial (or commercial) composting center. We thought, "No problem, there must be tons of these facilities!" Let's just throw a map on our website and a QR code on our boxes so people will know what to do.
Again...not so fast. Turns out there really aren't too many functional commercial composting centers. So instead, we bought our own equipment and took a crash course on commercial composting.
At first, we only put bags in our box of pods and asked people to mail it back to us. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not feel it's worth the postage to send the bags back to us. We don't blame them, if it were affordable, we'd be offering postage paid envelopes.
Now we are encouraging our customers to have a collection bin at their place of business. Customers who buy their pods in their stores, can return their used pods to the store. We'll take it from there. For those local to our area, you can bring any of your used compostable or recyclable plastics to our store. Here is the address: The Kitchen at Single Serve Co, 2355 Tapo Street #12, Simi Valley CA 93063. If you're lucky enough to live near a commercial composting center, please take your pods to them. Here is a link to a map of known composting centers: https://www.findacomposter.com/
We hope as we develop this program further that everyone will have an easy and affordable option in which to ensure their pods are composted. As we make strides toward this, we will follow up and communicate our learnings and actions with you.