Approximately 300 million pounds of coffee pods go into landfills annually. Delaney Doria, VP of Marketing of TerraKaffe, provided the figure. He commented, “As climates change and coffee crops risk extinction, making the most of your coffee is more important than ever.” According to the University of Boulder, “Along with methane, landfills also produce carbon dioxide and water vapor, and trace amounts of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and non-methane organic compounds. These gasses can also contribute to climate change and create smog if left uncontrolled.”
The Census reported that 350 million bags of coffee will be consumed in the US during the 2023/2023 coffee growing season. Demand is expected to grow, although the growth will be modest. However, this has pushed spot coffee prices to an unusually high $1.90 a pound. The figure will likely rise to $2. This means companies like Starbucks will raise prices. Coffee is usually a small daily cost for most people, but demand and low supply of coffee will pressure inflation upward. Drought in nations that produce coffee has cut the supply. Drought and freezing temperatures in Brazil have undermined crop sizes. These drought and temperature levels are unusual compared to years past.
Based on consumption, the danger of pods does not appear to have affected people’s coffee-drinking habits. Many of the causes of climate change have a similar dynamic. What appears to be trivial person by person is not in aggregate.
Coffee pods are among the best examples of how high consumption of many agricultural goods can hurt the environment. Cocoa has a similar problem. Climate change-induced drought has hit Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the largest cocoa-growing countries, accounting for nearly 60 % of global cocoa production. The same problem has hit beef. Drought conditions have cut the number of beef cattle farmers can raise. Beef prices are near an all-time high. Demand for both chocolate and beef is extremely high historically.
Pods cause climate change, and climate change undermines the supply of coffee.