Single Serve Coffee Revolution Drawing Criticism

MIAMI (CBS4) – At this coffee shop it is all about the single serve.

“A crafted cup of coffee as opposed to sitting in an urn for six hours.”

Barista Rachel Nelson says it’s a growing trend in coffee shops.

“A larger movement… a slow food movement,” said Nelson.

The coffee cups are measured and made individually drop by drop.

And the trend is happening at homes across the country and here in south Florida.

“First of all it wakes me up in the morning that is for sure,” said Raul Duarte, a coffee connoisseur, who makes several fresh shots of espresso a day.

A spinning instructor at gyms across South Florida, Duarte has classes of people who rely on his high energy

And the popularity and interest in gourmet coffee has more people making it at home.

“It tastes amazing and it is a lot cheaper than going to Starbucks,” Duarte informed CBS4’s Jorge Estevez.

Environmentalists say there is one problem with these single serve cups.

While they are convenient, the little pods go into a box and later you throw the box away.

So where do all those pods go after you’re done with them? That’s what has  environmentalists concerned.

“Our concern is that they are not recyclable  and that means they end up in landfills and incinerators and impact our health.” said Cindy Loopee with Clean Water Action. “The emissions end up in the air we breath and in the water we breath. It is hard  to recycle because of the multiple materials.”

Those materials include the plastic cup, the aluminum foil to keep the coffee fresh and then a separate filter.

Loopee pointed out, “It is also typically too small to be recycled. The trend is that larger materials are accepted in recycling programs.”

The Keurig Coffee company, which makes the popular single serving K-Cups, knows they have an issue. The company issued this statement.

“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.” – Keurig Coffee Co.

A system that works for some in South Florida is because of the convenience of it all…  for now trumping any environmental concerns.

“It doesn’t think. The caffeine is what I am looking for right? So it works,” said Duarte.


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