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The Los Angeles Times has a story suggesting that there could be legitimate environmental questions raised about the one-cup coffee maker trend, which has been popularized by Keurig and other companies.

“The K-cup coffee and tea cartridges are difficult to recycle because they are made of three materials: a plastic cup, which is lined with a heat-sealed paper filter, plus a polyethylene-coated aluminum foil top,” the Times writes. “Keurig says the packaging keeps coffee fresh, but the cartridges are not biodegradable.”

It is estimated that some nine billion of the cartridges have been sold.

On its website, Keurig writes: “As the single-cup coffee market and our Keurig brewing systems grow in popularity, we understand that the impact of the K-Cup portion pack waste stream is one of our most significant environmental challenges ... “Finding a more environmentally friendly approach to this packaging challenge is a big priority for us ... We are working on a few different fronts to improve the environmental characteristics of the K-Cup system.”
KC's View:
I don’t have a one-cup coffee maker, mostly because I drink way too much coffee in the morning to make it economical. But this story - pointing out something that I’d never thought about before - is enough to get me to swear off the concept just on principle.