Bid single-use Keurig cups adieu.
Keurig Green Mountain last year sold more than nine billion of its traditional single-serve plastic coffee pods — or K-Cups. Precisely zero could be easily recycled.
This inconvenient fact has provoked a decade of hand-wringing within the company, and discontent among consumers. Placed end to end, the pods sold in a year would circle the globe roughly 10 times. Concerns among environmentalists are mounting, and sales growth is slowing.
Now Keurig says it has found a solution...
The good news is, Keurig is feeling the pressure. They’ve announced that by the end of 2020, they will create a recyclable K-Cup pod made out of plastic #5 known as polypropylene plastic. You peel off the foil lid, compost or chuck the grounds and recycle the cup.
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Coffee capsules have been taking hard hits in recent times, from a "Kill the K-Cup" video that went viral on Youtube last year to remarks by John Sylvan, one of the founders of Keurig's K-Cup, expressing remorse at ever having invented the now ubiquitous coffee pod.
Yet the latest news on the coffee front is perhaps the most drastic: In January, the German city of Hamburg announced a ban on the purchase and use of coffee pods in all government-run buildings and institutions across the city.
The video is Hachey's attempt to get K-Cup lovers thinking about what their habit means for the planet. "We wanted to do something that looked big and felt big," Hachey says. His team of engineers and animators spent months working on post-production effects — work they squeezed in between paying gigs for clients. "Doing things like this stands out and can create a bigger conversation," he says.
The state that many people are in as they stagger to the kitchen in search of a cup of coffee is not, typically, wholly conscious. Either at home or at work, bleary eyes — from sleep or too much time in front of a screen — leave one thinking mostly of caffeine and much less of its environmental impact.
Thanks to some alarming statistics and a viral YouTube video, this is starting to change, leaving some single-serve coffee companies under intense heat.
A new video made by Canadian production company Egg Studios takes a look at the environmental impact our coffee addiction has created. Titled “Kill The K-Cup,” the short showcases a dystopian future where a single-use coffee pod monster destroys everything in its path.
Single-brew machines may be a convenient alternative to the traditional coffee pot or French press, but the actual price of the beans inside the pods can reach upwards of $50 a pound, according to The New York Times. Despite the cost and lack of sustainability, Keurig says on its website that it plans for all of its K-Cups to be completely recyclable by 2020.
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“The point with coffee pods isn’t about recycling—it’s about cutting down on the amount of stuff that we need to throw away or recycle”
Brewing coffee has changed dramatically over the years. Coffee no longer represents a time to gather with family, take a break, and recharge. Instead it’s about getting caffeinated as quickly and efficiently as possible to do more and more work. This excessive, on-the-go, convenience model of coffee consumption is creating more and more waste -- and big problems for our environment.
We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the environment. We're doing our small part, one coffee cup at a time.