Back in May the laptop-hating, hobo-friendly coffee chain Starbucks announced a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to produce the notoriously un-recyclable K-Cup coffee pods. Today comes a press release announcing that Starbucks' K-Cups are going to hit "grocery stores and specialty retailers in the U.S. starting in November 2011" and will be sold in regular Starbucks stores "later in 2012."
The plan, according to the president of Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group, is to "build Starbucks systemwide sales of K-Cup into a $1 billion business over time." A billion dollars of single-use un-recyclable plastic pod things is maybe a lot of garbage? Last year Starbucks announced a goal to reuse or recycle all of their coffee cups by the year 2015. Which is great, but Starbucks going with K-Cups might just negate some of that environmentally-friendliness.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters does say that making the K-Cups recyclable is "a big priority for us," but in the meantime, there are landfills that need filling. (According to the Wall Street Journal, Green Mountain sold 2.9 billion Keurig cup portion packs in 2010, up 75% year-over-year.) Also, the company is estimated to make 16 cents of profit per K-Cup sold, so there's that.