Lets talk coffee. It’s everywhere. With the world’s advancement in technology, it seems only reasonable that our coffee machines have improved. No longer must you mix in a teaspoon of instant coffee, or use that time consuming coffee press or wait forever to brew a pot of coffee. Instead of hiking a block to your nearest coffee shop, you can simply brew a cup of joe within minutes in the comfort of your houses. K-Cups have taken the world by storm. Fast, delicious, convenient: the three words every consumer loves. But is everything as it seems?
Turns out, these magical cups/capsules are ridiculously hard to recycle. Specifically, a K-Cup is composed of #7 plastic, aluminium, paper filters and coffee grinds. The plastic itself needs to withstand the heat and pressure of the coffee machine so it needs to be very strong. Which explains why it would be difficult to recycle.
Here’s a little Keurig video explaining the problem and providing a solution:
Seems easy enough. Buy the Recycle a Cup for $12.99 and rest easy for the rest of your life? Not a lot of people are aware of the environmental concerns of these coffee cups. In fact, the increase in popularity of K-Cups and increase in demand over the past few years, coupled with the lack of knowledge has led to people throwing their cups into the recycling. And since Keurig lost its patent on those cups, we’ve seen an increase on these capsules in the market which means more cups clogging up landfills. Yay!
Yes, to be fair to Keurig, these K-Cups are recyclable. But only if you as a consumer care enough to separate them into different sections and dispose of them individually. I can’t see a lot of people adding ‘Break apart your K-Cup” to their morning routine. Another option Keurig provides is to simply ship your used and separated cups to their Recycle A Cup Cutter Team.
Why do you as a consumer need to care? Because you cannot wait until 2020 for Keurig to manufacture a recyclable K-Cup. Because nearly 30% of US households own a single serve brewer, almost 20 billion pods will be consumed this year, most will wind up in landfills and that’s enough waste to circle the earth over 12 times.
Essentially, all you need to do is separate your coffee pods before recycling and do some research. Take a another look at your next cup of coffee!
Until next time,