Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why This Inventor Wishes He'd Never Created Coffee Pods

Good Day World!

Fact: they're expensive, and really bad for the environment.

But coffee pods are a worldwide billion-dollar industry that aren't showing signs of slowing down.

( Illustration-Loskutnikov/RobHainer/WarrenPrice/littleny/Shutterstock/TheAtlantic)

When John Sylvan invented the Keurig Coffee Maker he never guessed that he'd be sorry for creating it.
Since then he's apologized numerous times to the public for bringing it into their homes, and to trash dumps worldwide. 

When Sylvan came up with the idea of a single serving smart coffee pot he thought it would be okay for offices (which is what he had in mind).

He never suspected that his idea would blow up and become global, or that he would feel guilty for creating an environmental disaster.

A year ago Germany's second largest city launched a green initiative that included a ban on single-use coffee makers in government buildings.

Hamburg officials based the ban on the fact that coffee pods "cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation."

The big problem is the pods are almost impossible to recycle because they're made of a combination of plastic and aluminium.

Last year The Atlantic reported that if you lined up all the used Keurig pods sold in 2014 they would encircle the globe a dozen times. Imagine what that number is now.

Sylvan also has one more regret; Keurig Green Mountain (who Sylvan co-founded with his college roommate Peter Dragone) made nearly $9 billion in revenue last year - more than five times what the company made five years ago when Sylvan was forced out and sold his shares for a measly $50,000!

So not only has Sylvan become partially responsible for an environmental disaster globally, he's left to wonder how much money he would have made if he hadn't been so adament in not wanting to be told what to do.

Ironic aside: Keurig means excellence in Dutch. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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