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Consumer sparks concerns after sharing viral new coffee product: 'That's terrible'

"I thought we all agreed the Keurig cups were bad? This is worse!"

"I thought we all agreed the Keurig cups were bad? This is worse!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Our world is full of an ever-increasing amount of single-use plastics. One product that needs no more expensive and polluting packaging options? Coffee. Yet it keeps getting them, including this new product documented by a user on r/Anticonsumption.

What happened?

The Redditor's screenshot comes from the Instagram page of an @Once Coffee product. "Single use plastic for a crappy coffee," the user wrote above the photo.

"I thought we all agreed the Keurig cups were bad? This is worse!"
Photo Credit: Reddit

In the image, a consumer is preparing an @Once Coffee Latte. The product comes in a small cylinder with a button the user presses to squirt the concentrated coffee mixture into a glass of milk. According to the company website, this is meant to "elevate the coffee experience through quality and convenience."

Viewers on Reddit disagreed. "I thought we all agreed the Keurig cups were bad? This is worse!" said one commenter.

"Damn... I thought it was a stirrer. That's terrible, what?" another Redditor said.

Why does it matter if coffee comes in tubes?

According to @Once Coffee, these tubes are a new, proprietary technology. That means the company has invented yet another kind of expensive plastic trash.

It seems unlikely that buyers will notice enough of a difference in the flavor of their coffee to make the price tag worth it.

Plus, plastic's incredibly long lifespan makes it terrible for the environment, as it takes decades or more to decay. Instead, it breaks down into tiny microplastic particles that pollute our soil and water, with potentially severe health effects.

"I feel like at that point you have many delicious canned coffee options which wouldn't take much more room than the tube plus whatever you're mixing it in to make it tolerable," said one commenter. "If space is an issue, there's always room temperature instant coffee. Or something like powdered energy drinks."

Is @Once Coffee doing anything about this?

@Once does not share any information about its sustainability efforts on its web page. However, it does include the information that its coffee is packed with nitrogen to preserve the flavor. There are more eco-friendly ways to achieve the same effect.

For example, the company could use recyclable materials or biodegradable plastic for its coffee tubes. An aluminum tube would work just as well and could be melted down with no loss of material.

What's being done to deliver good coffee without plastic?

One company, Steeped Coffee, also uses nitrogen for freshness. However, its coffee packets are fully compostable, as are its boxes, which are also made from recycled material.

Another brand, Coffee B, uses small coffee balls that contain no plastic.

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