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What's Wrong with K-Cups? | Marck Recycling

Marck Recycling

Single-serve coffee is all the rage right now. Coffee pods – popularized by Keurig and commonly known as K-Cups – are extremely popular among coffee-drinkers, as is evident from their sales more than tripling since 2011. Many companies have installed K-Cup machines in their breakrooms to capitalize on this trend and keep employees happy. And while single-serve coffee is certainly convenient, there are some problems you might not know about. Namely, K-Cups are terrible for the environment.

How? Only 5% of K-Cups are made from recycled plastic. The rest are made from a #7 composite plastic, which is non-recyclable in most places. This means that each day, thousands of K-Cups are going into the landfill, including those in your breakroom. With everything we know about how harmful plastic is to the environment, it’s easy to see how big a problem this is becoming.

But we’re not here to rip on Keurig – while their system isn’t perfect, they’re now taking steps to drastically improve the sustainability of the K-Cup system. According to their sustainability report, their goal is to make 100% of K-Cup packs recyclable by 2020. Within that same time frame, Keurig plans to achieve zero waste status at their manufacturing and distribution facilities.

So things are on the right track, but what can you do in the interim? No need to ditch the Keurig machine altogether, but focus on reducing the amount of cups you use. For communal office events, brew a pot of coffee instead. And invest in reusable coffee filters, which allow you to brew bulk coffee in a Keurig machine.

For more tips about reducing you company’s environmental footprint, check out our Facebook page.

March 23, 2015 | Plastic, Zero Landfill