Keurig K-cups are made up of plastic, foil, paper and coffee grounds. Many coffee drinkers out there find it convenient to pull out the punctured cups and toss them in the garbage before moving on with their morning and enjoying their single serve coffee. For those out there who still want to have somewhat of an environmental conscience while still going the single cup coffee route, it’s important to recognize two parts of that 4 ingredient cup that can be easily composted.
Of course we’re talking about the coffee grounds and the paper filter hidden inside the aluminum foil and plastic cup. Now you do need to do a bit of work before you can get the filter and the coffee out of the cup, but I’m sure you can figure it out. Peel back the foil, shake the coffee grounds into your compost bin, use your fingers or a pairing knife (with adult supervision, if you are a child coffee drinker) and get that paper filter out of there!
The coffee and paper filter will be great for your compost. It should go without saying that the plastic cup and aluminum foil cover can’t be composted. The foil cover should be recyclable if tossed into your municipal recycling stream. The mysterious plastic that the cup is made out of is another story. It will depend on what types of plastics can be handled by your local recycle centres.
Long before getting to recycling though we should be looking at re-using and some of those k-cups can come in handy for the avid composter/gardener. They are a good little cup for starting out seedlings in before having to transplant them to larger containers. After being used they’ll have a puncture hole already built in for drainage so they carry on their convenience factor in their second life.
If you aren’t a regular reader of this site, you may have come through google by searching for what to do with your keurig cups and may not be too familiar with composting. If that’s the case, don’t be daunted by the task of composting. Although, there is a science to it it certainly doesn’t have to be followed to a T. It can also be scaled to suit your space and purposes. If you aren’t working with an actual compost bin, but have a small garden, simply sprinkling the coffee grounds around your garden can give your plants a boost and keep that much extra Keurig waste out of the landfills.