By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
Yes, that’s right! The Keurig’s own inventor, John Sylvan, is regretting ever inventing the easy, time-saving machine. For most coffee lovers, the Keurig was the best invention to ever exist, but to Sylvan, it’s anything but “the best”. Sylvan believes that the coffee system’s K-Cups are too expensive, addictive and wasteful. “It’s like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance,” he said, according to The Atlantic.
The biggest problem here? K-Cups are NOT recyclable. The tiny K-Cup may seem harmless but will undoubtedly have a massive environmental impact. Journalist Murray Carpenter estimated in his book, Caffeinated, that a row of all the K-Cups produced in 2011 would circle the globe more than six times. To update that analogy: In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups, enough to wrap around the equator 10.5 times. Keurig also admitted to selling 9.8 billion pods last year.
“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” Sylvan said. He no longer owns the product. Having sold it in 1997 to Keurig Green Mountain brewing company for $50,000, he also admits that he regrets making that decision, too. Sylvan told the Atlantic that since he handed the company over, “I told them how to improve it, but they don’t want to listen.”
The company released a sustainability report last year, announcing its K-Cups will be recyclable by 2020. “No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan concluded.
So, where do we go from here? If you are a Keurig owner (like myself, unfortunately), there are ways that you can reduce, reuse and repurpose K-Cups.
Refill your old K-Cups or use a reusable K-Cup
Make tiny seed starters.
Organize small craft & sewing items, hair accessories or office supplies.
Craft them during Christmas time.
Make tiny tabletop planters.
To see how all of these DIY’s were achieved, read Buzzfeed’s 33 Genius Ways to Reuse Your K-Cups! Have fun and reduce or reuse K-Cups!