03/04/2015 02:22 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2015

The Inventor Of Keurig K-Cups Is Feeling Pretty Guilty Right Now


If your morning routine involves popping a pod into your trusty Keurig coffeemaker, contemplate this: Not only are K-Cups destroying the environment, but the guy who invented them feels guilty about it.

John Sylvan came up with the Keurig machine in the early 1990s and sold his share of the company in 1997. He told the Atlantic he doesn't even own a machine today.

“I don't have one. They're kind of expensive to use ... it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make,” he told The Atlantic, adding, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”

It's no secret that these little plastic pods aren't exactly environmentally friendly. Although some are technically recyclable, they need to be disassembled into paper, plastic and metal components, which obviously takes more effort than most people are willing to exert, the Atlantic notes. There were enough K-Cups sold in 2014 to circle the Earth more than 12 times. (That's up from a 2013 estimate by Mother Jones, which had the K-Cups circling the Earth 10.5 times.)

According to Keurig's website, the company is pushing for all K-Cups to be 100 percent recyclable by 2020, but that's quite a few years to wait. Until then, this video of a coffee pod monster demolishing its surroundings isn't all that unrealistic.

Visit the Atlantic to read the full piece, titled "A Brewing Problem."



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