Single-cup coffee makers are now a staple in today’s workplace. They can be found in staff break-rooms, kitchens, and customer reception areas. While they are very convenient and appreciated by those wanting a fresh cup of coffee or tea, the single serving pods do cause both an environmental and waste disposal concern as they are not recyclable.
It is anticipated that thirteen percent of the adults in the United States drink single-serving brewed coffee every day. This percentage is expected to increase each year as the popularity of the machines continue to grow. Luckily, coffee manufacturers are attempting to address the waste generation and recycling issue.
Most single-cup pods are made from a mix of plastic, aluminum, coffee grounds and paper. Each of those items can be recycled individually, but not when combined which is beyond the abilities of standard municipal recycling services.
Some waste reduction solutions do exist. TerraCycle provides recycling for used coffee pods and has diverted close to twenty five million capsules from landfills since 2009. Green Mountain also offers a workplace program for composting coffee grounds and recycling materials.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business relies on single serving coffee makers, take some time and look at how much waste they produce. You may discover that participating in a recycling program, or switching back to the old fashioned coffee pot, will save you more money!