Earth-friendly Pod People
K-Cups have vastly expanded and simplified the art of brewing a cup of coffee. However,
many complain that the plastic pods are not exactly environmentally friendly. Officials at
Cameron’s Coffee say the number of pods discarded in one year, if stacked on top of each
other, would be one million times as tall as the Empire State Building.
Company officials are hoping to cut that down to size
with the introduction of Cameron’s BetterBrew Eco
Coffee Pods, which replace the plastic shell with a coffee filter for a full-flavor brew that tastes like drip-brewed
coffee. In addition, the lid and ring holding the filter are
made with compostable plant-based materials that can
be broken down within 90 days.
The pods were developed by ICA, a coffee equipment
manufacturer based in Bologna, Italy, and Cameron’s
Coffee has purchased and installed the machine. “I think
everybody should package single-serve coffee this
way,” says Bill Kirkpatrick, founder and CEO of Cameron’s
Coffee, based in Shakopee, Minn. “Our pricing is $1-$2
less than national brands, our quality is far better and it
is a green process, so we are very happy with where we
sit in this category.”
Cameron’s BetterBrew Eco Coffee Pods are available in
19 different blends and flavors, including Organic French
Roast, Kona Blend and Vanilla Hazelnut.
“Currently the only thing that is not compostable is
the filter, which is now made out of a poly blend, but
that will be compostable by 2017,” Kirkpatrick says. “Right
now we are 99 percent compostable by weight; it will be
100 percent in 2017.”
A few years ago Cameron’s Coffee conducted a study
and found out that price, quality and “green” were big
issues with consumers when it came to K-Cups.
“The green issue did not get people to stop purchasing the hard cups, but now they just don’t have
to feel bad about making a cup of convenient coffee,”
Kirkpatrick says. “Composting is becoming a bigger concern to consumers, but it is based on where they are.
For example, Berkeley, Calif. just banned K-Cups, and in
Europe some municipalities are doing the same thing.”
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