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  • Writer's pictureSophia Wang

The Benefits of Single-Use Coffee Pods

When thinking of ways to reduce one’s environmental impact, the first thing that comes to mind is likely not anything with the words “single-use” in it, especially not something with a multi-use alternative like coffee pods. However, a new analysis from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi in Canada shows that using a filter coffee maker can cause around 1.5 times the amount of emissions as pod machines. This can be simplified into three main ideas.

While traditional coffee brewers use a lot of electricity, instant coffee only needs boiling water from a kettle. In addition, instant coffee and pod machines don’t create coffee grounds, as opposed to filter machines that take ground beans and turn them into coffee, using heat at the same time to maintain the water temperature.


Depending on how much instant coffee and water are used, single-use pods could be a better option. This is because pod machines are made to use a set amount of coffee and water, typically an ideal balance that results in less wasteful amounts of both. The design overcomes human choice, so people can’t use an extraneous amount of water and coffee to make their daily coffee.


Although disposing of pods certainly adds to landfills, the emissions created by producing coffee and using energy for brewing contribute significantly to coffee’s overall impact on the environment, specifically greenhouse gas emissions.


Overall, the best option is to reduce the amount of coffee brewed to decrease the amount of waste and emissions created. In terms of switching to a less environmentally harmful method of coffee production, pods may be the best option.


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