The Guy Who Invented K-Cups Kind Of Wishes He Hadn’t
John Sylvan, the man who brought us K-Cups and the many joys that come along with them, doesn’t even use them. Sylvan told the Atlantic:
“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it. I don’t have [a Keurig]. They’re kind of expensive to use. Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.”
He sort of just sounds like my dad on a rant about the moral failings of instant gratification and yuppie culture, but the fact that Sylvan invented the damn things adds significant weight to his preference for good old-fashioned drip coffee. He sold his share of Keurig Green Mountain for just $50,000 back in 1997, assuming the machines would only be used in offices. The coffee pods’ steep prices bother Sylvan, but his real concern is the impact they have on the environment, as the multi-layered plastic they’re made of is not recyclable or biodegradable. Sylvan presented a more sustainable solution to Keurig, but so far the company has conveniently ignored that option:
“Take coffee and put it in a centrifuge, and it comes apart. Then you take the parts and combine them back when you make the coffee. So you could use something like a ketchup foil pack, and the separate parts won’t become oxidized when they’re stored and transported. Then you can combine them again at the last minute while making the coffee…I did the experiment years ago, and it worked.”
I don’t know what that means, but it sounds promising! Unfortunately, Keurig could care less and insisted in a pass-aggro statement that the company Sylvan set up for massive success all those years ago “is a fundamentally different company today, in which we partner with the world’s leading brands and are committed to sustainability.” Keurig claims it hopes to make all K-Cups recyclable by 2020 and to cut back on water use, promising that many K-Cups on the market will be recyclable as soon as a few weeks from now. From this Keurig-addicted writer to all the rest of you, maybe it’s time we curb our habit until that actually happens.
[Image via Shutterstock]