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According to a new study from PAC, Packaging Consortium, single-serve coffee might be a better choice for sustainable packaging than traditional brewed coffee.

The study examined the environmental impacts of coffee—including its effect on ecosystems, climate change and water—throughout its entire lifecycle, from the farm to waste disposal.

The results found that in terms of comparing single-serve and traditional brewed coffee, wasted product and electricity consumption matter more than packaging. The study reported three main benefits of coffee capsules: they deliver exact servings, prevent consumers from making more coffee than necessary and use less energy than bulk brewing systems, which typically use a hot plate to keep coffee warm.

PAC CEO James D. Downham said:

“We understand that people are concerned about the environmental impacts of single-serve packaging. So we wanted to support a transparent, credible study that would assess the big picture environmentally, including the impacts on the staggering global issues of food loss and waste, because every time someone empties a coffee pot down the drain, the water, energy, and resources used from the farm all the way to that home are going down the drain too.”


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