9.8 billion K-Cup coffee portion packs were sold in 2014. One in three Americans own a Keurig K-Cup or some other kind of disposable pod style coffee maker. John Sylvan, inventor of the K-Cup, is not one of them.
Sylvan told The Atlantic, “I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use. Plus, it’s not like drip coffee is hard to make.”
Last year, Keurig Green Mountain pledged to create a fully recyclable version of its blockbuster product, the K-Cup, by 2020.
The Atlantic – May 2015
The sound of my drip coffee maker just ceased and I have 8 cups sitting warm in the pot on my kitchen counter, made from a bag of coffee I purchased for $5.75 per pound. The cost of K cups is about $40 per pound of coffee.
In November 2013, I wrote a Loyalty Traveler article about the environmental waste of K-Cups when it was announced that Hilton Garden Inn signed with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to bring Keurig single cup coffee makers to its hotel rooms as a brand standard.
Loyalty Traveler – Making a plastic planet one cup of coffee at a time (Nov 7, 2013)
When I wrote my article 18 months ago, there were pod coffee makers in about 1in 8 U.S. households. That number is now 1 in 3.
“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan said. “The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers.” The cups are made from plastic #7, a mix that is recyclable in only a handful of cities in Canada. That plastic keeps the coffee inside protected like a nuclear bunker, and it also holds up during the brewing process. A paper prototype failed to accomplish as much.
Nespresso is the coffee maker I commonly see in Europe. Nespresso produced an estimated 28 billion coffee pods last year.
The hotel industry is in the business of keeping guests satisfied. Single pod coffee makers are a popular trend. As I reported in my previous article, hotel guests rank a hotel’s environmental policies near the lowest concern when considering the hotel industry.
Too bad there is not more guest concern over the environmental impact of hotels. I think coffee pods are a poor choice for the hotel industry.
Creating sustainability for your hotel – Innlink.com.