Not done one personally, but I used to do lifecycle assessment (LCA) professionally and I’ve read a fair few about food and drink. With coffee I seem to remember it’s extremely water intensive. The little bit that you boil to make your cup of coffee is just a tiny fraction of the total water used in the process.
Paper filters, like any paper product, are quite energy intensive for what they are and very water intensive in production. If they’re bleached, there are also environmental issues with chlorine if an oxy bleach is not used. In terms of waste, they will just compost with food waste at any municipal composting plant so it’s not an issue.
My personal opinion is it’s a small addition to an already intensive flow, which already uses a lot of energy and water. I’d suggest that if a filter paper weighs 2-3g, it probably adds 5-10% to the total environmental impact, tops.
Interesting, though I'd assumed it would be less than 5%.
Always remember the "fact" about cooking rice. It's better to buy uncle ben's pre cooked rice (which comes packaged in horrible plasticy bag thing) and heat it in the microwave than buy basmati by the 5kg and it boil up a serving each time.
For this reason, brown rice, which takes like 20-30 mins to cook, is the worst rice to buy if you want to save the planet.
Rice Appreciation thread >>>>>>>>>
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