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How plastic ruined my morning coffee | The 4 best alternatives to a great tasting coffee

Written by: Hendrik

Category: Health, Lifestyle

Updated on:


The alarm clock rings; it’s 5 AM; on a good day, I get up and meditate. The next task for the day would be my morning cup of coffee and journaling.

Since we lived in quite a few hotels, I was often tempted to use those disastrous coffee pods. Sometimes I would justify the Nespresso once and say to myself, “I am sure this hotel is going to recycle them because they already have soap wrapped in paper.”

But who am I kidding? Most of them are not being recycled. Actually, the Keurig cup is a terrible invention. Why?

Related: Why changing to biodegradable coffee pods isn’t the answer.

Not only does it make your coffee taste like arse. But these tiny pods end up for 1000’s of years in our environment, potentially killing wildlife and breaking up into microplastic, finding its way into the food chain back onto our dinner plates.

That is reason enough why plastic has ruined my morning coffee.

Don’t even get me started on the takeaway cups, which are all lined with a thin layer of polyurethane that leaches chemicals into your coffee. Hmmm, if that doesn’t wake you up?! (Pun intended)

There are so many fantastic ways to enjoy a coffee while being eco-friendly and making it zero waste.

The 4 best alternatives to a great tasting coffee that is eco-friendly




Honestly, I have never tried them, but people on the web go crazy for it. I figured I put it in the list of eco-friendly options.


French Press

French press

I love this newer type model because it is insulated and keeps your coffee nicely warm for ages.


Filter coffee maker

Filter cafe maker.

They are the American standard for making coffee. I am not a big fan, but if you do use them, you can get fabric filters or even stainless steel ones to use instead of paper ones.



Stovetop espresso maker.

My favorite has been the percolator. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and also fits in my backpack. I take it with me everywhere we have been going, and it makes for great tasting coffee.

Now you have to source your beans in bulk, store them in a glass jar, and use a handmill to grind them. Viola. You just kicked the bad plastic habit in the butt.

I know you might be thinking, but I just got a new coffee pod machine for Christmas. Hey, don’t worry, I am not saying you should go and throw it out. That would be counterproductive. But you can get reusable coffee pods instead of buying the plastic once. 

Quick recap; why plastic is bad for your health.

  • BPA was found in 93% of urine samples taken from people above the age of six
  • Bisphenol A[2] also known as BPA, used to make billions of plastic beverage containers, dinnerware, protective linings of food cans and toys, is considered an endocrine disruptor
  • Based on the weight of existing evidence, it is likely that elevated urinary BPA levels are associated with prostate cancer in humans
  • some animal studies have indicated the adverse effects of BPA on newborns and fetuses.
  • Breast milk of most women in the developed world contains dozens of compounds, including BPA
  • Phthalates are used to make plastic soft and flexible; it is linked to weight gain and 
  • decreased levels of sex hormones, and other consequences for the human reproductive system both for females and males
  • When food is wrapped in plastic containing BPA, phthalates may leak into the food. Any migration is likely to be greater when in contact with fatty foods such as meats and cheeses than with other foods
  • It is not recommended to heat food in plastic containers
  • The label BPA-free in a box of a bottle doesn’t mean a product is free from other harmful chemical compounds that are slightly different but have a different name

Yeah, I know pretty painful stuff.

But the good news is we can change this. You can start using less plastic in your household and especially when in contact with food. If you do accumulate some plastic, make sure you recycle it with TerraCycle. That way, you can be sure your plastic will continue to have an afterlife, like a park bench or an upcycled bag. 

All in all, keep enjoying your coffee and don’t be too hard on yourself. The most important part is to spread this information with your friends and family to be in the know. The more people taking action and protecting themselves from plastics, the healthier you will become or stay. 

I really hope this zero waste movement isn’t just going to be some trend that dies off again because, in my eyes, we need to learn to live in harmony with mother earth again. So thank you for being awesome, and have a good day. 

P.S.: Would you like to know which one the best reusable coffee cup in the world is?

Watch the video below 👇

Keepcup Review | The best reusable coffee cup in the world.
Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

2 thoughts on “How plastic ruined my morning coffee | The 4 best alternatives to a great tasting coffee”

  1. In terms of low-waste coffee makers, the Aeropress is a really great option. It’s the smallest filter size around if you can’t get yourself away from paper; with the option of course for reusable metal filters. It’s virtually indestructible, and a great brewer for travel and everyday use. I can personally reuse the paper filter every day for a week without any issue. Cheers!

    • Hey Ryan, thanks for your input. Some of my friends swear by the Aeropress but personally haven’t used it. Perhaps I am a little overreacting, but since it’s made from Polypropelene I wouldn’t use it for my coffee. The company states that it doesn’t leach chemicals into the brew, but I wouldn’t trust that. Over time they all leach.


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