I, like numerous other college students and even most adults, am addicted to coffee. My family has a Keurig single cup coffee maker, which is awesome. I can make a cup of coffee whenever I want, even if it happens to be several times during the day. It was a blessing when my aunt gifted it to us for Christmas a couple of years ago, but we would later learn that it was a nightmare when it came to disposing of the K-Cups.
Due to the unique design to ensure the freshness of roasted coffee in each serving, most people are aware that each K-Cup cannot be recycled or at least not as a whole unit. There are three layers to each K-Cup and only two parts of it can be recycled. Trust me, I know it is a pain to separate them- I’ve been doing it for a couple years now, because it’s such responsible action regarding the environment.
Let me break these k-cups down. The foil lid can be recycled with other aluminum products. The filter inside is made of paper, so it can also be recycled with other paper products. Before you recycle the paper, make sure to remove as much of the coffee grounds as possible or else it will contaminate the recyclables. The last part of the K-Cup is the plastic outer shell, which actually isn’t recyclable (for some reason) so we are forced to throw that out, creating more waste. Of course, there is alternate option to all this.
The phrase goes Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle; notice how recycle is last. I recently discovered that Keurig produces a reusable filter, which I purchased of course, that allows us to reduce the amount of waste we produce by being able to reuse the filter multiple times. All you need to do is simply fill the filter up with your own coffee grounds and clean it out once it’s done. I know it may sound like a hassle, but really it will only add a minute or two to your morning routine, and it will make a significant difference to the amount of waste created, especially if you drink as much coffee as I do.