School is back in session with millions of college students returning to campus, and more than likely they’ll have a single-serve coffee brewer in their dorm or apartment. These machines are small and portable and great for small spaces and the hot water dispenser allows this Starbuck's generation to prepare instant oatmeal and ramen noodles with their coffee brewer. Also, they can brew a cup to go and be out the door in under a minute and make it to class on time (fingers crossed).
With that said, however, students will contribute to the estimated 10 billion plastic brew cups discarded annually into the country's landfills.
"We know that students are among the most eco-conscious consumers," said Sarah Cunningham, senior marketing manager of Hills Bros. Coffee. "This fall, we're hoping to raise awareness among college students of the significant problem plastic coffee cups pose to the environment and of their power to make an impact through the coffee they purchase."
Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA (Portsmouth, VA), maker of Hills Bros., Kauai Coffee and Chock full o'Nuts, uses PURPOD100 coffee pods, which are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute to break down in less than 84 days in municipal composting facilities and return as nutrients to the soil, according to Cunningham. The PURPOD100 single-serve coffee products are compatible with all K-Cup brewers.
As part of MZB's national rollout of certified 100% compostable coffee pods, the company has launched an awareness program to drive composting participation among student consumers. A special website was created to educate consumers, advocate for curbside composting and connect people with their local composting options.
"Composting today is at levels similar to where recycling was in the 1990s. While large cities have set the trend, composting practices have really taken hold on college campuses," Cunningham said. "This forward thinking can expand from university dining halls to student housing, introducing students to a composting lifestyle they can continue after graduation."