Single-serve coffee cup cartridges adding up in landfills
Watch above: With the advent of individual coffee servings comes much in the way of waste. Wendy Winiewski takes a look at how Canadian’s coffee addictions are adding up at municipal landfills.
SASKATOON – It’s been called an environmental catastrophe and its one that households may contribute to weekly, if not daily. According to new research by data firm NPD Group, 40 per cent of Canadian homes have a single-serving coffee brewer.
The waste from those cartridges that end up in landfills has environmentalists renewing a call for coffee-conscious consumers.
“Canadians are one of the biggest consumers of coffee in the world,” said Joanne Fedyk, with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council.
“Coffee as an industry has environmental effects.”
The Keurig company’s first brew machine hit the market in 1998. Since then, more than 45 million brewers have been sold along with 30 billion K-Cups.
K-Cups are not recyclable and that’s not all.
“Wood stir stick, not recyclable. Plastic stir stick, not recyclable. The disk, not recyclable, a Styrofoam cup with a lid, the lid’s recyclable, the cup is not. Our Tim Horton’s cup and the plastic lid, both good,” said Ryan Buhay with Loraas Recycle in Saskatoon.
Buhay says it’s one of the most common questions he’s asked.
“We do accept the paper coffee cups, basically if you can rip it, you can recycle it,” said Buhay.
The amount of K-Cups used by those who brew at home or work in the past year can wrap around the earth 10 times, according to critics.
The solution is simple and old fashioned.
“Press, filters, you know all of those things … percolators,” said Fedyk.
The original K-Cup creator says he regrets his invention. Keurig says it will have a recyclable K-Cup by 2020.