Sleepy office employees may view Keurig's single-serve coffee machine as a gift, but the sheer quantity of waste it produces has stirred regrets in the product's inventor.
"I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it," John Sylvan, who sold his share of Keurig in 1997 for $50,000, told The Atlantic.. “It's like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance.”
The waste production of the K-Cup, the non-recyclable, single-serve coffee pods that Keurig machines use, has long been noted. Keurig Green Mountain pledged to create a full recyclable version of its main product by 2020, but estimates say that the Keurig pods buried in 2014 would already circle the Earth 12 times.
Meanwhile, the Keurig's popularity has made it ever more ubiquitous, bringing it to offices and homes across the country. The company sold a total of 9.8 billion Keurig-brewed portion packs last year, which include the new multiple-cup pods.
Plus, they aren't cheap, another downside Sylvan notes.
"I don't have one. They're kind of expensive to use,” Sylvan said of Keurig K-Cups. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.”