Keurig’s Breakthrough: Introducing the First Plastic-Free K-Cups

Keurig K-Cups

Keurig’s Leadership Takes a Turn: The CEO’s In-House Startup to Engineer a Coffee System that Could Eclipse K-Cups.

Keurig K-Cups


In nearly 40% of American homes, people start their day by brewing coffee with a Keurig machine and then discard the plastic K-Cups. This routine leads to over 30 billion plastic capsules thrown away each year.

Shift to Sustainability

Keurig has been reworking its coffee process to cut down on single-use plastic. The new K-Round pod, made from compostable material, represents a big step in this direction. Keurig plans to test these pods in the fall and release them soon after. These pods fit in the latest Keurig machines, allowing for both hot and cold brews without waste.

A New Beginning

Bob Gamgort, CEO of Keurig Dr Pepper, faced a dilemma. The K-Cups pods, integral to daily life and a major revenue source, was also an environmental concern. Keurig’s founder regrets its environmental impact. Gamgort saw the need for innovation and led his team toward more sustainable coffee solutions.

Innovating for the Future

Gamgort gathered a team to rethink Keurig’s single-serve coffee. This team worked independently, exploring sustainable options without the usual corporate limits. Their goal was not just recyclability but compostability, a challenge due to material constraints.

Eco-Friendly Pods Take Center Stage

The team’s journey led them to Delica’s seaweed-based material, ideal for the K-Round system. Keurig’s new machine, the Alta, accommodates both K-Rounds and traditional K-Cups, easing the transition to more sustainable coffee brewing.


Keurig will soon start K-Round beta testing, aiming for an accessible price point. Despite potential challenges, the company is ready to introduce these eco-friendly pods, with Gamgort emphasizing the importance of proactive innovation for long-term growth and sustainability.

A Morning Ritual with a Twist

In 45 million homes across America, nearly 40% of households start their day by using a Keurig machine for their morning coffee, then tossing the used plastic K-Cup. This routine contributes to more than 30 billion plastic capsules ending up in the trash or recycling each year.

The Dawn of a Greener K-Cups Brew

Keurig has been reworking its approach to coffee, aiming to cut down on single-use plastic pods. The company is rolling out the K-Round, a compostable pod, marking a major shift. Keurig will start beta testing these more sustainable pods in the fall, planning a wider release soon after.

Revolutionizing Coffee, One Pod at a Time

K-Rounds bring a fresh take on the classic K-Cup, first introduced 27 years ago. These flat, round pods fit Keurig’s latest machines, allowing water to brew both hot and cold coffee. Made from food-grade algae, these pods can go straight into the bin, cutting down on waste. This design even makes brewing espresso possible; a feat older K-Cups couldn’t achieve.

A Greener Future Ahead

With K-Rounds, Keurig is poised to greatly reduce its environmental footprint. However, encouraging customers to switch to a new machine and adapt to this system will take time. The ongoing issue of plastic pollution, including harmful microplastics, remains a significant environmental challenge.

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