I've long admired the ease-of use of systems like the Nespresso, whilst hating how it takes a bulk commodity like coffee beans and packages it up into heavily packaged single servings. Turns out it's even worse than I thought.
Journalist Murray Carpenter estimates in his new book, Caffeinated, that a row of all the K-Cups produced in 2011 would circle the globe more than six times. To update that analogy: In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups, enough to wrap around the equator 10.5 times. If Green Mountain aims to have "a Keurig System on every counter," as the company states in its latest annual report, that's a hell of a lot of little cups.