Keurig Coffee Pod Inventor Says He Regrets Their Environmental Impact, Doesn't Use Them

In an interview with The Atlantic, Keurig K-Cups inventor John Sylvan made no bones about his issues with the coffee brewing system he invented.

The pod-based coffee system, by the way, is so popular that an estimated one in three homes in America has one, though that doesn't apply to Sylvan. "It's not like drip coffee is tough to make," he told the Atlantic.

Now, Sylvan himself has come forward to point out the deep flaws of the Keurig system, including its wastefulness and impact on the environment. The company continues to grow, and yet has not released a K-Cup that is easily recyclable or biodegradable.

The current version, introduced in 2006, can theoretically be recycled if someone is willing to take apart the paper, plastic, and metal components of each K-Cup, and the company has pledged to create a fully recyclable version by 2020. Sylvan, however, was quick to challenge that promise.

"No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable," said Sylvan. "The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers."

Indeed, it is not the environmental kindness of the product that appeals to consumers, but the way that the machine removes all the effort behind consuming what is basically a drug.

"It's like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance," said Sylvan. "I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it."

By the way, if you're interested, here's a tutorial on how to use any "unauthorized" K-Cup you want in your Keurig 2.0.