By the Numbers: The Worst Way to Consume Coffee

“We can get to a cup of coffee dozens of different ways,” Martin Bourque, director of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, told the East Bay Express last year. “The best way is a large volume of coffee that goes into a cup that’s washed and re-used a thousand times, and the coffee goes to compost or mushroom production. That’s best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is these pods.”


Percent of Americans who drank a coffee from a single-serve brewer each day in 2013


Percent of the U.S. ground coffee market that goes to single-serve cups

$31 billion

Value of single-serve coffee sold worldwide in 2013

11.6 million

Number of single-serve machines sold in 2013


Million single-serve coffee machines sold in 2008


Percent of single-serve coffee pods that are recyclable


Number of times the single-serve coffee cups discarded in 2013 could circle the globe

Sources: Wall Street Journal; Quartz; Washington Post