Here's Why You Should Stop Using K-Cup Pods Right Now

You wake up, pick out your favorite blend, pop it into your coffee maker and minutes later you have a steaming perfect cup of coffee. Easy, right?

Well it may be convenient, these single-serve pods could cause some serious harm.

If you are part of the 1 in 3 Americans who use a Keurig or other single-serve coffee makers, keep reading because this could affect you.

Environmental Impact

As of 2017, only Green Mountain Coffee and 3 other Keurig pods are recyclable. That leaves 200 remaining cups and pods heading to the garbage can every morning.

When K-Cups end up in landfills, they will stay there for 450 years. The amount of K-cups discarded can circle the earth 12 times.

"If you took last year's production of K-Cups, which was almost 10 billion, and you were to take them and line them up end to end like this, they would encircle the globe more than twelve times at the equator," Murray Carpenter, the author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us, told CBC's The National in a 2015 interview.

Keurig states that their goal is to have all K-cups be recyclable by the year 2020, but that doesn't mean that they will in fact end up being recycled by consumers. People who grab a single-use cup often do it for the convenience and they may not be inclined to go through the process of recycling the materials that their coffee came in, when the garbage can is right next to them.

Continue to the next page for impact to Health and Cost.


While composite plastic is technically BPA-free, it doesn't mean that it isn't harmful to your health.

BPA-free plastics can mimic estrogen activity in the body, according to a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives. This effect can lead to altered functions of reproductive organs including reduced sperm counts, obseity and increased rates of cancer.

These machines are also known for being a cesspool for harmful bacteria if not cleaned often and properly.


Single serve coffee is also more expensive than the alternatives. To get a pound of coffee in K-cup pods would cost up to $50, whereas a pound of ground coffee is approximately $10.

The pod drinker spends almost 5 times as much as the coffee pot consumer and the resulting taste of the coffee is close to the same.

So what is the cost of convenience?

Many people have already started to avoid single-serve coffee resulting in falling sales of the K-cup.

Last year, Hamburg, Germany was the first city to ban single-serve coffee pods.

John Sylvan, cofounder of Keurig doesn't even own his product. He admits traditional coffee is cheaper and easier to make.

"I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it," Sylvan said to The Atlantic, in response to a question about the environmental impact of K-cups.

If the inventor of the Keurig isn't using his product, what does that say about us?