by Margie Schuler
There’s no doubt that Keurig coffee units are popular. Almost everyone has one: from my office to my doctor’s office to my friends’ houses. I have a friend that doesn’t drink coffee but she has one, too! A 2013 survey by the National Coffee Association said 1 in 8 American households have a single serving coffee brewer. So, we know Americans love coffee and convenience, that’s not new, but what about the K-Cups?
At the market last night, I noticed one-third of the coffee aisle devoted to K-Cup selections, an almost overwhelming amount of choices. A quick Google search of K- cup yields 23,400,000 results, from the Keurig website to regular priced and discount retailers. Now I admit, my curiosity was piqued by reading an NPR article and watching a video entitled “Kill the K-Cup,” a mock-horror film with a Godzilla-like creature made from K-Cups, with planes shooting K-Cups like bullets. It was quite hilarious but made me seriously think about what happens to K-Cups, which was exactly the intent of Mike Hatchey, CEO of the company that produced “Kill the K-Cup”. According to Hatchey, 60 billion K-Cups have gone into landfills thus far, and given the Keurig’s popularity, this number will only rise. K-Cups are #7 composite plastic and aren’t recyclable in most areas. Another shocking statistic is 8.3 billion K-Cups were produced in 2013, that’s enough to circle the world 10.5 times!
Now I’m not judging your morning coffee habit, or insisting that you buy a reusable filter that fits into your Keurig (we have one at the office and it’s great!). I only want to pique your curiosity, and if you’re interested, you can sign a petition to urge Keurig to move up their deadline to make all K-Cups recyclable. Now go back to enjoying your brew.