Keurig coffee share grows-so does environmental controversy

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LINCOLN, Calif. (AP) — The environmental battle over single-serve coffee pods is heating up.

Single-serve coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain says it now controls about a third of retail sales in the U.S. coffee market. But environmentalists and coffee-making rivals are calling Keurig out for the tough-to-recycle plastic pods used for single-serve coffee.

Critics cite statistics that the company put out enough plastic pods last year to circle the earth — more than 10 times.

Keurig spokeswoman Monique Oxender says the plastic pods protect the quality of the coffee.

But coffee-maker Jon Rogers of Lincoln, California, says he makes a perfectly good single-serve pod out of corn and soy. Rogers family-owned coffee company is offering a clip-on gizmo that will let Keurig owners hack their coffee machines to accept recyclable cups by rivals.