It seems like every household and workplace these days has a Keurig coffee brewing maker. The morning staple is quick, convenient and practically has zero clean-up, however, what about those K-Cups? Once you pop, sometimes it’s just too hard to stop and these can start to make a dent in your garbage footprint. UPAC2 Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has addressed this consumer issue with the launch of its environmentally-friendly K-Cup for the popular machine.
The patent-pending design consists of a Compo Cup cup and filter mechanism which are made from biopolymers designed to enable consumer products to meet strict product compostability standards and that are fully derived from plant-based annual resources. Cal Krupa, the company's CEO and Founder, stated that, by the end of 2015, UPAC2 will have its Compo Cup and filter mechanism tested by an independent lab to assure compliance with the ASTM 6400 standard. First-generation K-Cups currently in use are made with up to seven layers of plastic, making the cups very challenging to recycle, and impossible to compost.
The disposal challenges of K-Cups has been a widely-debated issue with an anticipated annual consumption of K-Cups growing to 20 to 25 billion cups by the end of next year, and Keurig has publicly stated its intention to have a recyclable or compostable K-Cup in place by 2020.
Krupa added, "Our success with the Compo Cup is encouraging for several reasons. First, it utilizes a completely plant-based biopolymer material that uses no oil or petroleum. Second, we believe composting is a more cost-effective and far more practical solution than recycling for this particular structure which intimately combines organics and plastics in one complex, small structure. And finally, our product will be available this Fall, offering a value proposition that is an absolute win-win across the board."
Cal Krupa and his team have long been active players in sustainability arena when it comes to addressing landfill concerns. As the founder of Ultra Pac Inc. and during the last 35 years, he pioneered the use of recyclable and FDA-compliant post-consumer recycled materials, while creating more than 400 packaging designs and 52 design and utility patents. These food packaging designs have influenced virtually all bakery, produce, deli and reheatable meals.