Keurig Finally Has Plans To Ditch Plastic K-Cups

Coffee drinks surrounding new K-Round pod
Coffee drinks surrounding new K-Round pod - Keurig

Single serve coffee fans, your daily habit is about to get more eco-friendly. At least, it will eventually. Today, Keurig revealed long-term plans to introduce a more sustainable alternative to disposable plastic K-Cups. Called K-Rounds, the plastic-free and aluminum-free pods will be made of compostable plant-based material. You can expect to see them in stores ... sometime in the next couple of years, maybe.

The brand hasn't set an estimated release date, but according to its latest announcement, beta testing for K-Rounds and their corresponding machine, the Keurig Alta brewer, is expected to begin as early as this fall. No formal decision has been made to discontinue plastic K-Cups at any point in the foreseeable future, but launching this new, alternative product may make it possible to do so eventually.

Keurig machines make beverages quickly and conveniently, but the brand is considered controversial when it comes to sustainability because of its reliance on single-use plastics. While the Keurig Alta may not grace our countertops anytime soon, it's something Earth-minded coffee drinkers (and even those who use their Keurigs to make things besides coffee) can look forward to.

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Next-Gen Beverages

New K-Rounds stacked yellow background
New K-Rounds stacked yellow background - Keurig

Over the last several years, there's been a dizzying back-and-forth in the news about just how bad (or not) disposable coffee pods, like K-cups, are for the environment. But as NPR points out, peer-reviewed evidence has found that pods are responsible for more emissions than other ways of making coffee. Even the inventor of K-Cups denounced them for their environmental impact.

All K-Cups produced since the end of 2020 are theoretically recyclable, but many municipal recycling programs aren't prepared to handle them. Sustainability experts assert that the best way to combat plastic waste is simply to produce less of it, and the forthcoming K-Rounds seek to do exactly that. In fact, Keurig is working to make them certified compostable so users can skip the recycling bin altogether.

It doesn't seem as though K-Rounds will be compatible with current K-Cup machines — only the upcoming Keurig Alta — so unfortunately, even though Keurigs typically last years, you'll likely have to chuck your current brewer. Try to find a small appliance recycling program so your old one doesn't end up in a landfill.

In the meantime, Keurig also plans to launch a mail-back recycling program for plastic K-Cups, providing a convenient option for those whose local recycling programs don't accept them. No specific timeline has been announced for this program, either, so Keurig users should keep an eye on the brand's website for any future updates. While you wait, consider switching to a refillable K-Cup to reduce your personal plastic waste.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.