NOV 20, 2018 12:08 PM PST

Coffee Pods and the Environment


They are trendy, convenient and oh so tasty, but as it turns out coffee pods, those single serve tiny buckets of liquid crack are not very green, despite the fact that coffee company Green Mountain Coffee, bought the technology. While there are a multitude of videos online that describe how to make your own pods, let's face it, no one does that. The plastic cups are easy to use and can make the morning dash out of the house that much faster. The creator, John Sylvan, originally worked for Keurig and developed the technology, but sold his portion, for $50,000 which seemed like a nice sum at the time. Then, earthy crunchy coffee company Green Mountain Coffee Roasters bought the Keurig company and ran it until 2015. Now owned by JAB Holding Company, the pods continue to be popular, despite the fact that they are not environmentally friendly.

Sylvan has gone on record as being remorseful for having set in motion the trend of single serve coffee pods. They can be recycled, but it almost takes a degree in environmental science to separate the foil, filter and plastic parts to dispose of them properly. In addition, the cups are made from Number 7 plastic, which is less commonly accepted in recycling bins, so they wind up the trash, and sitting in landfills. A viral video called "Kill the K Cups" was called "warranted criticism" by Keurig officials. The pods are banned in Hamburg Germany, from all government buildings and other cities have considered a ban as well. The monster of plastic, foil and caffeine continues to be a problem for environmentalists and coffee drinkers alike, even though efforts are underway to do more to make the pods green.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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