K-Cup Inventor Says He’s Sorry: Here’s Why

Photo (cc) by Shoshanah

Americans love their coffee. And 1 in 3 Americans love brewing their java in a Keurig K-Cup. John Sylvan is not one of them. He prefers drip coffee.

Sylvan’s preference wouldn’t be noteworthy if he wasn’t the inventor of the K-Cup.

“I don’t have [a Keurig]. They’re kind of expensive to use,” Sylvan told The Atlantic.

Sylvan, who envisioned the Keurig would solely be used in offices, sold his shares in the company in 1997 for $50,000.

Keurig’s growth has skyrocketed since then.

More than 9.8 billion K-Cups were sold in 2014, the Atlantic reports.

“According to one estimate, that’s enough cups to wrap around the globe 10.5 times if they were placed end-to-end,” WNEW reports.

This has many people, including Sylvan, concerned about the effects of Keurig’s single-use plastic pods, which are not recyclable or biodegradable.

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

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. has committed to making all of its K-Cups recyclable by 2020 by replacing the cup material with polypropylene #5 plastic.

Monique Oxender, chief sustainability officer at Keurig, said all new K-Cup spin-off products since 2006 are recyclable, but there’s a catch: the K-Cup user has to disassemble each cup into its separate components (paper, plastic and metal).

“I gotta be honest with you,” Oxender said, “we’re not happy with where we are either. We have to get a solution, and we have to get it in place quickly.”

Many of Keurig’s competitors’ cups are reusable or biodegradable, “which does little to deflect the growing criticism that Keurig Green Mountain is not seriously prioritizing sustainability,” The Atlantic noted.

We have an earlier generation Keurig. We refuse to upgrade to the Keurig 2.0 because we buy San Francisco Bay coffee pods from Costco. They’re inexpensive (as far as coffee pods go) and 97 percent biodegradable, but they’re not compatible with the new Keurigs.

Do you use a Keurig? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

With these companies, it might be easier than you think to negotiate your monthly bill down.

9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home
9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home

These creative products on Amazon will hide unsightly clutter while saving space.

7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire
7 Reasons Not to Move When You Retire

Sunny skies and warm breezes sound great. But in reality, you might be better off retiring closer to home.

The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family in 2021
The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family in 2021

These states have big advantages or disadvantages when it comes to choosing a home for your family.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

What a $15 Minimum Wage Means for Social Security
What a $15 Minimum Wage Means for Social Security

A federal minimum-wage hike could affect the Social Security system dramatically.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.