Keurig, the maker of the infamously environmentally unfriendly single coffee pods, is trying to convince the world that it has changed. According to the New York Times, the company will start selling K-Cups that are easily recyclable in the next coming months. However, like an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, you can’t always trust the brand’s claims.
Last year alone, Keurig sold more than nine billion of its plastic coffee pods. That’s enough to circle the globe 10 times over if you placed the cups side-by-side. Environmental concerns arose when people realized that none of the nine billion pods were recyclable, and that they were clogging up landfills. The environmental impact of the K-Cup is so negative that even the inventor of the product revealed that he regrets ever creating it.
To fight this perception, Keurig is now launching a plastic cup made of polypropylene, which—like plastic bottles—can be “sorted and shredded by middlemen and sold to manufacturers that use recycled plastics.” Critics, however, are still not satisfied. They argue that while the cups may be recyclable, they are still not compostable, nor are the reusable. Plus, Keurig will still be selling “billions of pieces of plastic each year,” which many environmentalists consider to be irresponsible.
MAKING anything plastic uses energy and resources.Just because the plastic is recyclable doesn’t make it green. https://t.co/EGpYHT2FAL
— Megan Coakley (@TheLoneWoman) April 18, 2016
Darby Hoover, a senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, tells the Times: “There are a lot of ways to make coffee that don’t use so much packaging… Making coffee wasn’t something that needed to be reinvented.”
Even though the K-Cups have their critics, that hasn’t stopped the industry from exploring more uses for the single-serving pods. Companies are now making bone broth and soup K-Cups. Plus, a number of other companies have launched a “Keurig for” various items from, craft beer to Jell-O shots. So reusable or not, it looks like the K-Cup is here to stay.
[via New York Times]