Still, the trash produced by the multibillion-dollar invention gives Sylvan regrets, he told the Atlantic in an exclusive interview.
“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” he said.
Sylvan no longer owns the product. He sold it in 1997 to Keurig Green Mountain brewing company for $50,000. He told the Atlantic he regrets that, too. Since then, sales have grown exponentially every year. In 2008, consumers bought $132 million worth and, last year, revenue was up to $4.7 billion. Sylvan told the Atlantic that since he handed the company over, “I told them how to improve it, but they don’t want to listen.”
The company released a sustainability report last year, announcing its K-Cups will be recyclable by 2020.
“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan told the Atlantic.
So, how does the K-Cups creator get his coffee fix? An old-school coffee maker. He doesn’t have a Keurig.
“I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use,” he said. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.”
But he gets the appeal.
“It’s like a cigarette for coffee,” he said, “a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance.”