4 Dangers of Using K-Cups for Your Morning Cup of Coffee

There were various opinions on whether having a morning cup of joe from a disposable coffee pod. This tend to be pretty divisive—you either love K-Cups or hate ’em. But as of this week, personal opinions no longer matter for residents of one German city, which name is Hamburg.

This city has officially banned all coffee pods (including K-Cups) from government buildings, citing their negative environmental impact, according to CNN. But is your Keurig brew really that bad? Well, probably yes.

Here we present the four real concerns about getting your caffeine fix from a coffee pod.

1. They aren’t biodegradable.

K-Cups are extremely difficult to recycle, because they contain more than one type of material. In an effort to be more eco-friendly, Keurig has promised to make their cups recyclable—but not until 2020. Until then, you’ll have to separate the aluminum top from the plastic cup yourself and then find a special recycling service.

2. They could pose a hazard to your health.

It has been confirmed that K-Cups are BPA-free and made of “safe” plastic, but the thing is that some studies, show that even this type of material can have harmful effects when heated. When you come into contact with these plastic chemicals, they can act like estrogen in your body, throwing your hormones out of whack.

3. They produce a ton of waste.

In first sight those little cups may not seem like a big deal, but think about how often you have to empty the Keurig bin at the office—those babies pile up fast. For every 6 g of coffee, you’re looking at about 3 g of waste—much less efficient than sticking with a more traditional brew. To put it in perspective, in 2014 Mother Jones estimated that we disposed of enough K-Cups to wrap around the world 10.5 times. That a big WOW.

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4. They contain aluminum.

This information which comes as a fact, that K-Cups contain aluminum is also not great for the environment. Even if all that aluminum doesn’t end up in a landfill (and that can pile up with some serious speed), recycling aluminum produces some toxic by-products that have to be buried in a landfill anyway. But, there is not a problem you have to deal with if you’re using an old-fashioned coffee filter.