Coffee convenience creates a latte waste.

Keurig coffee makers allow everyone in the office to drink their favorite bean blend. Single-use plastic cups also save dainty fingers from touching used coffee filters.

The problem is those convenient and tidy plastic cups can’t be recycled and are collecting in America’s landfills, reported CNBC.

The K-cups, as the plastic containers are called, are made of a plastic shell, lined with a paper filter and topped with aluminum. Individually, the components are recyclable, but put together they can only be trashed. What’s more, the compost-able coffee grounds are trapped inside.

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Single-use, non-recyclable containers add to the environmental impact of the average cup of joe. To get a caffeine fix without adding to America’s waste problems, use traditional coffee machines and compost the filter right along with the grounds. Or use a French press and cut out the filter altogether.

Coffee grounds make a great fertilizer for acid-loving plants like blueberries and azaleas.

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Once the beans are brewed, a reusable mugs eliminate Styrofoam or paper cup waste. Bring a mug from home, and perhaps a few extras to share with co-workers.

I once cleaned out a kitchen cupboard full of mugs I had accumulated and left them near the office coffee maker with a note encouraging folks to give the mugs a good home. The mugs stayed at that job longer than I did.


Coffee cortado, a latte art example (Mortefot, Wikimedia Commons)