Inventor of K-Cups says he ‘feels bad sometimes that I ever did it’

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NEW YORK — The inventor of K-Cups regrets that he ever invented them.

“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” John Sylvan told The Atlantic in an interview.

Why? Because the K-Cups are bad for the environment — they are disposable and not recyclable.

Sylvan originally envisioned the cup-like pouches that brewed a single serving of coffee for offices, where people want different brews. But the technology caught on, and Keurig Green Mountain brewers are now on kitchen counters everywhere.

That means more and more K-Cups are being used — and thrown in the trash.

Sylvan isn’t in a position to do much about the problem. He sold the company for $50,000 in 1997, and it’s now owned by Green Mountain, the brewing company.

“I told them how to improve it, but they don’t want to listen,” Sylvan said.

Syvan and others have designed solutions, like reuseable K-Cups. He said he even tested his design “years ago, and it worked.”

But Keurig has tried to block those cups from working in its machines. The company says it has a plan of its own and is “committed to making 100% of K-Cup packs recyclable by 2020.”

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4 comments

  • CBP

    Recycle Kuerig cups in five years. That’s nuts. Just like Kuerig is today, the Obama of coffee malers. They have taken coffee making back fifty years to before the percolator. Of which I would enjoy revival of today.
    My wife says she loves our Kuerig….. But I surely hope she’s ready to toss it soon. My feelings is it’s a PIA

  • Magnus

    Not counting the ecological problems caused by the machine, there have also been issues with its cleanliness. Water has this habit of growing stuff and when you can’t clean that stuff out it ends up in your drink.

  • Bev Meadows-Lein

    I reuse my empty k-cups(that I buy ONLY at a significant discount) buy growing seedlings in them in the spring for my garden. The hole in the bottom where the liquid beverage comes out is a perfect drain hole. The size of the cups are perfect for small seeds and seedlings. Plus I can use them for several seasons. I grew a fabulous crop of Basil last year with them.

  • Donald Mullikin

    If people who own the original Keurig were to use other options such as the San Francisco Coffee company’s 97% compostable units, they could have a good cup of coffee without worry of trashing the environment.
    Even those who own the Keurig 2.0 brewers could use the simply hack that is circulating and be able to use these compostable coffee packs.

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