I have to confess that I’m a fan of these single-use instant coffee machines. We used to use a regular drip coffeemaker, then tried the Senseo machine a few years ago because they appealed to our gadgety side. It was pretty good, though you had to double-up on your “coffee pods” if you wanted stronger coffee. Then it started to have issues and we went back to the good ol’ drip machine. A couple of years later we spotted the Keurig machine in Costco (the one pictured here, in fact) at an unbelievable price, complete with 60 servings of coffee…so we took a chance on it and loved it. It even came with the reusable basket for doing your own coffee, though we don’t use it often.
We’ve had it about a year, and I do think about the environmental impact now and then — these k-cup things aren’t recyclable, after all. They’re plastic with foil fused to the top, with a filter and spent coffee inside. (It’s a pretty ingenious little invention for making coffee, I have to admit.) Theoretically you could rip open each one and remove the coffee and filter, but you’d still be left with the foil stuck to the plastic which is hard for the recycling machines to separate and process. Hmmm… I suppose we could use the reusable cup, though the coffee is much weaker unless you use a special trick. It’s also kind of a mess to set up which pretty much defeats the convenience of the thing…but it’s cheaper than the disposable k-cups, and it’s not adding more crap to the landfills. We do a lot of recycling otherwise, so it wouldn’t kill us to just brew our own coffee and stop being such suckers for convenience!
Keurig coffee makers allow everyone in the office to drink their favorite bean blend. Single-use plastic cups also save dainty fingers from touching used coffee filters.
The problem is those convenient and tidy plastic cups can’t be recycled and are collecting in America’s landfills, reported CNBC.
The K-cups, as the plastic containers are called, are made of a plastic shell, lined with a paper filter and topped with aluminum. Individually, the components are recyclable, but put together they can only be trashed. What’s more, the compost-able coffee grounds are trapped inside.
via Discovery News