- Clearwater, FL-based coffee company Melitta USA has finally produced single-serve coffee pods that are 100% recyclable. The pods rival the popular Keurig K-Cups, which have been criticized for being environmentally wasteful.
- The company began delivering the recyclable pods to customers in April 2013, according to Jeff Bridges, the vice president of operations at Melitta USA. However, as the product begins to hit stores, the demand has been extremely high — especially in the northeast. To keep up with the demand, Bridges says the production plant is operating nonstop.
- Melitta — which has been in business for 107 years — is also known for inventing the first paper coffee filter, as well as an environmentally-friendly filter made of 60% bamboo.
For years, the impact of single-serve coffee pods on the environment has been a great concern among environmentalists and those in the coffee industry. Even Keurig K-Cup inventor John Sylvan told The Atlantic, "I sometimes feel bad that I ever did it." With billions of single-serve coffee pods being sent to landfills each year, it is estimated that the waste produced in one year could circle the Earth 10.5 times — which is why Melitta's new cups are an important step in the right direction.
Other companies, such as Vancouver-based G-Kup Coffee and Toronto-based Club Coffee, are working on environmentally-friendly pod options as well. Both Canadian companies have produced 100% compostable single-serve coffee pods that are compatible with the Keurig brewing systems.
Additionally, the Trenton, NJ-based recycling firm TerraCycle has implemented a K-Cup recycling program to help keep the cups out of landfills.