A hot beverage is a common morning drink to help people wake up and get ready to take on the day. Almost half of U.S. consumers own a single serving beverage machine such as a Keurig or Nespresso machine. Even though coffee pods are small, they are filling up landfills. According to an article in USA Today, within 10 years of k-cups becoming available to homes in 2004, enough k-cups were produced to cover the globe 10 times over[1]. Do not despair over this figure because there are several ways to tackle these 2”x2” pieces of plastic from filling up our landfills and clogging up waterways.

Jump to Reduce and Reuse

Jump to Recycle

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/03/13/heres-why-your-used-k-cups-coffee-pods-arent-usually-recycled/3067283002/

Reduce and Reuse

Coffee pods are about 10 times more expensive than buying loose ground coffee. An easy way to reduce your coffee pod waste and grocery bill is to buy loose ground coffee and pack them in reusable coffee pods. A pack of four reusable coffee pods are priced between $6-$10. This infographic breaks down the cost savings when using reusable pods.  Here is a quicker summary, average yearly cost of single use coffee pods is about $590 compared to putting loose coffee grounds in reusable pods which cost $238 a year. Switching to reusable pods results in a yearly savings of $352 a year!

Reusable coffee pods are easy to use and takes less time to load than it takes for your machine to heat water up. Plus, they are dishwasher safe!

What can you do with used coffee grounds?

Coffee grounds are a great addition to a compost pile, fertilizer or pest deterrent. Here are some easy ways to harness the nitrogen rich coffee grounds into a supplement for your green housemates[2].

[2] https://www.thespruce.com/using-coffee-grounds-in-your-garden-2539864

Recycle

In 2019, Keurig made a commitment to make all of their coffee pods recyclable in North America by the end of 2020. This commitment was developed out of a growing concerned of how much waste was produced from these magic hot brown morning potion capsules. According to the Keurig website all Keurig brand coffee pods are made from #5 plastic which is recyclable in our area. To recycle them you must first remove the foil lid then dump and rinse the coffee grounds out of the k-cup. The filter can remain. There are some generic brands also made from #5 plastic that can also be recycled however, be sure to read the instructions because some require that the filter is also removed.

Is Nespresso your coffee of choice? Great news, they have a coffee pod recycling program through their website . You can order a bag to fill with their coffee pods, then when the bag is full send it with free postage for proper recycling of the aluminum pods and composting of coffee grounds.

If Don Francisco’s® Coffee or Café La Llave® is your preferred brew then the pods can be recycled throw a mail-in program provided by Terra Cycle.