Single-serve coffee cups designed for machines like Keurig and Tassimo are everywhere now, but – as we’ve pointed out before – they are terrible for the environment.
Homes and businesses around the world have quickly transitioned away from brewing coffee in a more environmentally-friendly way (with a biodegradable/compostable paper filter), to doing so with coffee grounds and flavouring packed in an oversized plastic shell that gets dumped in the garbage after each single use.
This method creates more waste per cup of coffee than anyone could ever argue is reasonable.
In an effort to curb this problem, Melitta has introduced a new line of eco-friendly K-Cups that are 100% recyclable. Each K-Cup comes in its own individually-sealed freshness pack, made from recyclable plastic, and the cup used to brew the coffee has a fine mesh filter and lighter plastic shell that is also recyclable.
After trying these new K-Cups to make coffee, I can attest that the coffee is still great, and the plastic is certainly marked as recyclable, but still – the idea of producing so much plastic per the amount of coffee grounds seems like a rather unsustainable idea by nature. There are other eco-friendly K-Cup options that let you fill the reusable container with your own grinds (more on that here), so from a cradle-to-grave lifecycle perspective, these cups are not the most sustainable option on the market, however they are far more environmentally friendly than their non-recyclable counter-parts.
Melitta’s introduction of recyclable plastic in their K-Cups is a huge step forward from entirely disposable cups.
In the end, by choosing a Melitta recyclable single-serve coffee cup, coffee lovers can enjoy a fresh cup of high quality java without having to create a substantial amount of waste and sacrifice their environmental principles.