Adam Minter’s Feb. 28 article, No, your coffee capsules aren’t killing the planet, missed the boat on the critical issue of marine plastics pollution. I was surprised to read that “the brewing process and its associated carbon emissions have the biggest impact on the environment.”
It appears that a considerable amount of time was spent researching this topic, yet nowhere in the article was the impact of consumer plastic products on the world’s oceans mentioned.
A search on the Internet turned up a story about students in a coastal Massachusetts community finding K-cups during a marine debris cleanup project. Here in South Florida, we are keenly aware of how vulnerable our marine ecosystem is to the environmental consequences of plastic pollution.
Although many plastics are now designed to disintegrate more quickly, they break down into thousands of tiny plastic particles that form soupy oceanic gyres of marine debris. The plastic particles are ingested by marine life and transferred up the food chain, creating a deadly effect on wildlife.
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Close to home, our spectacular coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to discarded plastics in the marine environment.
Thus, the tiny K-cup and other single use plastic consumer products create a giant-sized environmental problem. Avoiding or minimizing use of single-use plastic consumer products is one way to be part of the solution.