Tip of the Week: 4 Sustainable Alternatives To Single Use Coffee Pods

We inadvertently left out the 4 alternatives to single use coffee pods and have included them in the revised post below. Our apologies for the mishap.

According to a recent poll by the National Coffee Associationone in five adults get their daily dose of caffeine from one-use coffee pods. That does not bode well for the environment. In 2014, enough pods were purchased to circle the earth more than 12 times (approximately). In comparison, the population of the United States lined up side by side would only wrap around the earth seven times.

Recently, the Vermont-based company Keurig debuted a new line of recyclable K-Cups—part of a sustainability initiative to make 100 percent of its pod products recyclable by 2020. The thing is, you don’t have to wait four years to make a more sustainable cup with your Keurig. Instead of contributing to plastic waste, consider purchasing an environmentally friendly alternative to instant coffee brewing.


Retail Price: $9.29-$12.95 | Reusable

Simply fill the pod with your desired blend, brew, then rinse and reuse. The built-in stainless steel reusable filter ensures that minimal sediment will pass through the pod and into a cup of coffee. This refillable pod comes with a box of optional paper filters that are biodegradable. The pod is 100% BPA- and lead-free, and is compatible with a majority of Keurig and commercial brewing systems.


Retail Price: $13.99 | Compostable

OneCoffee’s soft pod design provides more surface area for hot water to capture all the aromas and flavors in each brew. OneCoffee is certified fair trade by Fairtrade International. The company has worked to make drinking coffee a socially responsible practice by producing pods that are 99% compostable. They come in boxes of 12 and 18, and can be used in Keurig and most commercial brewing systems.

EZ-CUP 2.0

Retail Price: $14.99 | Reusable and Biodegradable

EZ-Cup provides coffee drinkers with a thick BPA-free plastic capsule that can withstand Keurig and a majority of other commercial brewing systems. This product provides a similar brewing experience to K-Cups but is easier to use. (The new K-Cup requires that you peel off the aluminum lid to properly recycle it.) For this refillable capsule, which comes with compostable paper filters, simply open the lid and dump the grounds into the compost.


Retail Price: $10 | Compostable

Uncommon Coffee Roasters has partnered with Pro-Line to provide a 100% compostable pod for consumers. The pod, which is made from bamboo resin and corn-based material, decomposes within 90 days of its disposal. This product is also compatible with a majority of Keurig and commercial brewing systems.

 The above is a reprint of a post written by Nana Boateng on the Sierra Club website on August 24, 2016.