Dump the K-Cup

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 9:42 PM

In today's society, we are moving at such a fast pace that we want everything given to us fast and easy. It seemed only right when the Keurig coffee machine offered us all a quick cup of coffee in less than a minute. We no longer had to wait for an entire pot of coffee to be brewed, we no longer had to take the time to scoop coffee from a large tin container and we definitely didn't need to take the time to clean our coffee makers anymore.

The first time I was introduced to the Keurig machine, I was amazed. I was no barista so my life became a lot more simple when all I had to do was fill the machine with water, put in a K-Cup pod, and press the brew button. It was like magic and in the end, all I had to do was throw that K-Cup right in the trash and go about my busy day.

It wasn't long before I realized the Keurig's were in every hotel I stayed at but it was long however until I realized the horrendous environmental impact these small k-cups caused. Being made of many different plastics, some even unidentifiable and definitely not recyclable, I was shocked I hadn't noticed it before. It wasn't until I read an article by the BBC discussing the issue and the fact that cities in Germany began to ban them due to environmental reasons.

With hazardous materials that end up landfills, it's only worse to find out that a survey by the national coffee association found 1 in 5 adults use a single-cup-brewed coffee a day. According to BBC, the inventor of the K-Cup stated in an interview that sometimes he regrets having ever created the K-Cup and wants to begin creating more recyclable options. However, there are already competitors that have done this. If you're someone who uses K-Cups every day and doesn't want to drop the single-serve quick and easy coffee option, there are other alternatives. One alternative is Nespresso. Nespresso claims to want to highlight the growing recognition of the vital importance of being sustainable in everything they do. They create their coffee pods out of 100% aluminum and no plastic. They also pick up used pods from their customers and re-use them. Also, if you're in a hotel and they have a Keurig, it might be best to get coffee somewhere else. But if you go to a coffee shop, be sure to bring your reusable mug/cup and stray far away from the plastic straws!





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