Keurig Green Mountain is facing a growing backlash against against K-Cups, the plastic pods used to brew coffee in its machines.
The pods have become wildly popular in recent years, with nearly one in three households now owning a pod-based coffee machine, Quartz’s James Hamblin reports.
But they are difficult to recycle, raising serious environmental concerns that have forced their inventor, John Sylvan, to have regrets.
“Looking back on his invention, amid increasing public condemnation of K-Cups as a scourge on the planet, Sylvan told me, ‘I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,'” Hamblin writes.
Now some customers are threatening to boycott the company until it makes the pods more environmentally friendly.
While the components of the pods are recyclable, someone would have to break down the pod into pieces to prevent it from ending up in a landfill, Quartz reports.
“Because the K-Cup is made of that plastic integrated with a filter, grounds, and plastic foil top, there is no easy way to separate the components for recycling,” Hamblin writes.
The company is working to find a better solution that would make the pods more easily recyclable.
“We’re not happy with where we are either,” a Keurig spokesman told Hamblin of the company’s efforts to make the pods more environmentally friendly. “We have to get a solution, and we have to get it in place quickly.”
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