The best part about mornings is a cup of fresh, aromatic coffee. There’s nothing like starting your day with a hot, steaming drink and taking a moment to prepare for what lies ahead mentally. But if you’re using one of the new plastic pod coffee makers, then you might want to reconsider.
What Are Plastic Pods?
The latest generation of coffee appliances emerged a year ago, called the Keurig 2.0. They’re compact, fast and great with almost any type of cup. You can brew one mug of coffee in under a minute and there’s no tedious measuring or stirring involved. The problem of uncleanliness is also reduced. You buy the pod, toss it in, and start your day.
So what’s wrong with it? According to some people who have used Keurig 2.0, the pods are filled with tiny plastic particles that seem to grow toxic over time. Some researchers believe these plastic particles are being absorbed by coffee drinkers, which could cause all sorts of nasty health issues, even cancer.
How To Use Pods?
The Keurig 2.0 has a portal to hold the pod. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Espresso, K-Cups pod or a custom-made pod; they all go through the same portal. Each Keurig pod contains a charcoal filter, which is supposed to absorb the oils that cause stale coffee. However, some people claim that these filters do not remove the oil completely. You can see the oils on top of the filter. Once you open the pod’s lid and take out coffee, you will notice a tiny black dot in it.
Health Effects Related to Plastic Pods
The plastic-pod makers made their way on the market back in 2009. In addition, millions of Americans are now drinking from pods that are made from plastic particles. The companies state that they are safe, but issues pertaining to them have arisen with the passage of time.
People aren’t sure what’s going on with the plastic-pod makers, but there’s some evidence that the particles are slowly poisoning drinkers who aren’t even aware of them. French researchers showed that exposure to plastic fluff could cause changes in throat cells. Such changes could lead to inflammation and cancer.
Where Can You Find Such Plastic Pods?
The easiest way to find them is in the local supermarket. The pods are available in a variety of flavors, including banana, vanilla, and cappuccino. Look in superstores and utility markets if you want to try them out. Better yet, check stores that specialize in coffee.
Problems With Plastic Pods
The plastic in Keurig plastic pods can take up to a decade to decompose. Health concerns aside, many people have criticized the entire premise of using single-serve coffee pods. The following points sum up many of the issues with these pods:
here’s a lot of plastic involved in the creation of one pod. On the other hand, plastic pods have been a source of contamination for waste reducers. With millions of pods going unused, there’s a lot of waste going into landfills and oceans as well.
The pods can release toxic chemicals into the air when burned because plastic makes up only a tiny portion of the burned material.
They are pricey. Each K-Cup costs an average of $0.70 to produce, compared to bulk coffee supplier’s flat rate of around $1-$2 for each pound of coffee beans.
These pods are not recyclable. There is no recycling network for these plastic pods, though they can be made from separate elements requiring much less recycling than standard plastic.
These pods contain additives that can be bad for health. Some additives can cause adverse effects on humans, the environment, and animals with longer life spans, such as mammals, birds, and fishes. These additives are known as endocrine disruptors because they interfere with the hormone system in living creatures. They can impact the immune system, nervous and reproductive systems and even have the potential to cause cancer.
Harmful Chemicals From Plastic Pods
Chemicals like BPA can leach out of plastic pods, like those used in Keurig coffee makers, into the brewed coffee. Those chemicals are then ingested by the user, posing a significant health risk.
There are currently no safety standards for BPA in Canada regarding food containers and utensils, so we prefer stainless steel or glass over plastic.
Effects of BPA on the Body
BPA, BPF, BPS and phthalates are plastic chemicals that all affect hormones and fertility problems. Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and durable. They are used in shower curtains, inflatable pool toys, cosmetics, and even water bottles. BPF is another kind of plastic that is rarely recycled.
BPA and BPF can be released from the plastic container into the food or drink present in it. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in your body, affecting hormone health for both men and women. It can cause an increase in body fat, reduce fertility and increase the risk for cancer. BPF also interferes with hormone health, causing reproductive issues and cancers.
Choosing a Safe Coffee Maker
The best way to avoid plastic pod makers is to use reusable filters and ground coffee to brew your coffee.
Some people have had success with non-plastic filters made out of paper or stainless-steel mesh. Others have had success with the French press, which is a bit more expensive upfront and easier to clean. Stainless steel reusable pods are also available, but they are still relatively new to the market.
The most important way to avoid plastic coffee pods is to buy carbon filters for any coffee maker like Keurig coffee machine. Cone filters have been the standard method for Keurig coffee makers for years and they won’t get gummed up with residue as paper filters do.
On top of that, almost any type of machine can use a reusable filter.
Reusable filters will eliminate the need to purchase a new filter when the old one becomes saturated with an oil that is causing your coffee to taste stale. On the other hand, using a reusable filter might not be entirely adequate for the coffee machine.
If you are using a reusable filter with the Keurig brewer, you will need to use filters compatible with your specific machine. Alternatively, you can save some money by opting for one of Keurig’s reusable coffee pods or buying filters that have been developed exclusively for the system.
Disadvantages of Reusable Filters
1. They need to be cleaned after each use. This can be a bit messy and the grounds are oily compared to the grounds brewed in paper filters.
2. Multiple pieces of plastic may be included with each filter. Filters found on Amazon appear to be made from multiple pieces, but these pieces can easily be taken off and thrown away.
3. Reusable filters can cost more than paper ones.
4. Many different coffee machines can use filters that aren’t made specifically for Keurig brewers. These reusable filters will work with your coffee maker, but they won’t be ideal for certain models.
BPA-Free Coffee Makers
Even if you decide to use a reusable filter, your coffee maker could release harmful chemicals into your coffee. Always avoid plastic in your coffee maker, the water container and the container that holds brewed coffee in place.
It is recommended that you get a BPA-free coffee maker to eliminate all the plastic from your machine. There are also other considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a new one, including size and durability.
Types of BPA-Free Coffee Makers
1. Automatic coffee makers
Coffee makers are becoming more and more popular, but they can be pretty expensive. They usually use oil-based plastic as a container for water and coffee, but they also generally use disposable paper filters.
Some automatic coffee makers do not use plastic in the coffee filter or the water compartment of the machine. However, these machines are pretty expensive but not as renowned as automatic coffee makers.
a. Drip coffee makers
Drip coffee makers use a filter that sits in the mug and a filter holder. This reduces the purchase of a paper filter. The drip filter has to be cleaned after each use but the water compartment doesn’t have any plastic. This type of coffee maker can cost less when compared to automatic ones.
b. Espresso Coffee Machines
Espresso coffee machines can be pretty expensive as well. Eco-friendly Espresso machines have become more popular and expensive than their counterparts. Some companies use BPA-free plastic in Espresso machines which is safe to use for hot drinks.
c. Smart Coffee Makers
Smart coffee makers, also known as smart kettles, allow you to brew coffee at home. These coffee makers are usually made from glass, stainless steel, or plastic and are BPA-free. Therefore, if you are looking for simple and affordable coffee makers, this could be the option for you.
2) Manual Coffee Makers
Manual coffee makers are inexpensive and easy to use, especially when compared to automatic ones. They can be made from BPA-free plastic and mesh filters or stainless steel.
However, manual filters are not the best option for people who want a cup of hot coffee quickly. Therefore, if you’re going to make a single cup of coffee or need it for your office, it is best to get an electric coffee maker.
a. French Press
French presses are the most popular type of coffee maker in the world. They are usually made from plastic, metal, or glass but are generally BPA-free. They have a single-piece filter that is easily removed, usually every three to five days.
This coffee maker is probably the least expensive of all coffee makers. It’s common in many hotels and cafes because it can make a great cup of coffee quickly and efficiently.
Percolators are older technologies. They don’t look like much, but they can make delicious coffee. They are also usually made from plastic, metal, or glass, which do not have any BPA toxicity. Percolators have a mesh filter and have to be washed at least once a week. In addition, their filters also have the potential to break. This added replacement cost will hamper the use of a percolator.
c. Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Cold-brewed coffee makers are also BPA-free and easy to use. However, they tend to be a bit pricier than most standard machines. These coffee makers are perfect if you want to drink a cup of coffee without using any flavored syrups or creamers.
Although there are many options for making coffee, it is essential to know the dangers of plastic, BPA, and other toxins in the coffee maker. These materials can be harmful to your health and should be avoided at all costs.
In addition, many studies show that even if you don’t immediately become ill from the chemicals in your coffee maker’s plastic pods, you may still experience adverse effects in the future. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that you avoid any plastic whenever possible.