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A Change Is Brewing: Keurig’s Plastic-Free Coffee Pods

Mar 25, 2024 | Food
A Keurig machine that uses podless pods

The coffee industry needs new ways to reduce its massive environmental footprint, a plastic avalanche of more than 63 billion coffee pods per year, adding up to more than 100,000 tons of waste. Keurig’s share of that avalanche is substantial: It is estimated that over 21 billion K-Cups (Keurig’s single-use plastic cups) are not recycled and go to landfills each year. If Keurig can roll out the 100% compostable K-Round at scale, the company can gradually reduce this number. While Atla brewing machines will maintain backward compatibility with the traditional K-Cup, we predict that K-Rounds will slowly but surely completely replace them as their popularity grows. Keurig’s innovation means that coffee drinkers may no longer need to choose between convenience and sustainability.

Source Summary

Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc., in partnership with Delica, the creators of the fully-compostable “coffee ball” CoffeeB, has just unveiled K-Round, a plant-based compostable coffee pod that aims to replace its plastic counterpart. The companies teamed up to design a new pod that is both eco-friendly and efficient. The coffee grounds are formed into a puck shape that is held together by a seaweed coating. Each pod is stamped with a BrewID that allows the brewing system to scan and detect the type of coffee to optimize each brew. To accommodate this pod format, Keurig introduced a new brewing machine called Atla—which is compatible with both the K-Rounds and traditional single-use plastic pods.