The inventor of the K-cup wishes that he had never created the technology. The reason? The small single-serve cups are bad for the environment.
A Bad Idea
The K-cup’s creator, John Sylvan recently did an interview with the Atlantic where he said that he something regrets every creating the K-cup due to the harmful effect it’s ultimately having on the world’s environment. The easy-to-use cups are great for offices who have a number of people working in them, all with different coffee preferences. With a K-cup coffee maker like Kurieg’s line, employees are able to brew themselves a single cup of coffee whenever they like, and aren’t tied to drinking a pot of whatever someone else has decided to brew.
Meant for the Office
The office scenario is what Sylvan originally imagined when he created the technology. What he didn’t imagine was that the same method would be used in people’s homes to brew coffee as well. In a single-family home scenario, it’s much easier to brew the coffee you like in a traditional coffee pot, and brew just as much of it as you plan on drinking. In that type of scenario, a single-serve pod method is exceptionally wasteful.
Too Much trash
The trash created by a bag of coffee is rather minimal, especially if you take into account that many coffee packages can be reused. K-cups on the other hand create a small amount of trash with every cup, trash that accumulates over time and accounts for a considerable amount of landfill space when you add it all up.
Out of His Hands
Sylvan also isn’t getting rich off the idea. he sold the idea for K-Cups in 1997 for just $50,000. Now the technology is owned by Green Mountain, which sells a number of different types of coffee and other drinks to be brewed with the dispenser. Sylvan says he’s contacted the company with ways to improve the product so it does less damage to the environment, however, the company isn’t interested in listening to him.