Single-Serve Coffee: Environmental Threat

Over 3 Billion K-cups are produced each year, and even more when we add in pods and capsules. None are recycled. Made of non bio-degradable plastic and a sheet of tin foil, the billions of k-cups that are produced each year eventually make their way into landfills. Metallic capsules are no better; each Nespresso capsule might only contain 1 gram of aluminium, versus the 13 grams that make up a soda can, yet none is recycled.

A boon to corporate profits, the environmental threat posed by single-serve coffee pods has to-date been met only by words of goodwill. It is one of those great ironies that the biggest contributor to single serve coffee waste has "Green" in its trade name. Green Mountain Roasters, the largest manufacturing of single serve coffee capsules, has confronted the challenge by expressing their "environmental concern," while aggressively expanding production capacity. Given that 80% of Green Mountain's 2009 $803 million in sales were generated by single-serve, nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable pods and their associated equipment, the "green" in its name takes on a new shade of meaning. And with Starbucks foaming at the mouth for a piece of the action, we can only anticipate the problem getting worse.

Wasted Pods
Wasted Pods

And yet, alternatives to single-serve coffee exist. In fact, our office coffee services not only resolve the environmental issue posed by k-cups, but do so at lower prices and with the highest quality, most freshly roasted beans available anywhere. Joyride is perfect for offices that value environmental responsibility and businesses concerned with the effect their operations have on the environment.

With a Joyride office coffee set-up, gone is the packaging waste of individual k-cups of anonymous origin. When compared to k-cups, Joyride is a win, win, win: better coffee at lower prices, grown, packaged, and delivered in environmentally responsible ways.

A couple of articles that address the single-serve issue:

The Boston Globe: An Environmental Quandary Percolates Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
The New York Times: A Coffee Conundrum
Cause Capitalism: Trouble Brewing for Green Mountain