Coffee Recycling 101

Coffee Recycling 101


If you’re like most of us in the morning, you’ll grab a cup of coffee from the kitchen or stop by the local coffee shop on the way to the office. Coffee helps the average office worker start their morning and it fuels productivity for the rest of the day. If your office has ever run out of it, you know what I’m talking about.

All kidding aside, most retail coffee products aren't recyclable which inevitably leads to them going to landfill. So, we’ve put together a resource that explains why they’re not recyclable, and what you can do to be more eco-friendly.


Coffee By Numbers


The average office worker drinks about 4 cups of coffee or tea per day. That adds up to 20 cups per week and 1,040 cups over a year.

In the U.S., About 60 billion paper cups end up in landfill every year.

In 2015, 9 billion coffee pods went to landfill. That's enough pods to circle the Earth 10.5 times.



Most coffee cups are made from paper, but a thin layer of plastic on the inside of the cup is what makes them hard to recycle. The purpose of the plastic is to keep the drink warm and to prevent the paper from becoming soggy.

Coffee pods are not recyclable because of the packaging; a mixture of aluminum and plastic. In addition, the remaining coffee grounds also add to the difficulty.


There is good news...

Until the cups and pods become recyclable, there are ways to still enjoy your coffee without using products that are harmful to the environment.


Use a reusable coffee mug or thermos instead of using a new cup every single time. Most coffee shops offer discounts when you bring in your own cup. For example, Starbucks gives a $2 discount when you bring in your own thermos or mug.

Ditch the single-serve coffee pods and use a reusable pod instead. You can reuse it as many times as you like and you can feel good about not adding more coffee pods to the billions already in landfill.


These eco-friendly alternatives will save your business money by eliminating the need to purchase many coffee cups and expensive single serve coffee pods! We want to know what your business does to make your coffee experience eco-friendly. Leave a comment below or get in touch with us. We'd love to start a conversation!


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