Attack Of The K-CUPS!

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Attack of the K-CUPS!

Are you someone that struggles to face the morning without a steaming mug of coffee? I certainly am. I have a noisy expensive machine that grinds beans and presents a strong tasty trickle of espresso with the touch of a button. I really love coffee, even considering an afternoon perusing the local coffee plantation a fantastic day out!

I have therefore been watching the recent obsession friends are developing with these tiny aluminium pods and plastic with a morbid fascination. The machine is costly, the pods are expensive too (usually double the price of beans) and the whole process seems unnatural, certainly unsustainable. Tossing a sealed plastic and aluminium package full of hot wet coffee grinds into the bin seems crazy. Coffee grinds are biodegradable, the garden loves them and they can even be used as a beauty product…… so trapping them inside packaging is a strange concept – all for the sake of convenience?


Keurig, who produces many of the popular K-cups claimed that “Quality, Convenience, and Choice” is what makes them so popular with consumers.

The National Coffee Association estimates that 13 percent of Americans now drink coffee from single-serve brewers today, compared to 4 percent in 2010. It will be no therefore surprise for you to learn that waste from K-Cups sold in 2013 could circle the globe nearly 11 times. Unfortunately the majority of the waste is also non-recyclable in most areas.

Keurig argues that the blend of plastic that they use in their pods is BPA-free, but this is not enough to take them off the hook. In fact, there are suggestions that even making the small cups could be putting their employees at risk.

Courtesy Kill the KCup
Courtesy Kill the KCup

The good news is that Keurig is aiming to make all of their coffee pods recyclable by 2020, this was published in their sustainability report. This extract is taken from their report.

At Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., we are passionate about our business and look for ways to be more sustainable in everything that we do. Over the past several years we have grown rapidly and today we are a leading personal beverage system company. Our growth and evolution blends a socially responsible, premium coffee roaster with a high-tech, innovative appliance maker, making our unique and powerful business model possible.

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