For all their convenience, there has always been on big knock on Keurig coffee makers (well, more than one but go with me here): they produce so much waste that has nowhere else to go but a landfill.  Sure, they are easy to use and they make what is generally considered to be a cup of coffee, but they require so much plastic and aluminum, most of which cannot be recycled without a concerted effort on the part of the consumer—and if the consumer was willing to make a concerted effort, they’d just brew their better coffee some other way. Thus, even if it was technically recyclable, the end result of the K-Cups was normally the landfill. There are reusable K-Cups as well, but those too require buy-in from the consumer.

But at long last, Keurig Dr. Pepper is releasing K-Rounds, a plant-based, plastic- and aluminum-free coffee pod that can be composted like normal coffee grounds.

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Announced via press release, the new pods are part of a “multi-year innovation agenda” for Keurig’s single-serve coffee system. Along with other new products and technologies still to be rolled out, the K-Rounds are “designed to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s coffee consumer.”

Looking more like coffee bonbons or espresso pucks, the K-Rounds are comprised of coffee grounds that have been compressed into a taller disc-like shape and then wrapped in a “proprietary, protective plant-based coating preserving the coffee’s flavor and aroma, eliminating the need for plastic or aluminum.” Per the press release, K-Rounds can be used under pressure to make espresso-like beverages and well as hot or cold brewed for filter-style preparations.

But there is a bit of a catch. The new eco-friendly pods will only work with Keurig’s new Alta machine, and it still seems like it’s a ways away from being ready for market. Per the announcement, “consumers will have the opportunity to provide essential feedback in the ongoing development of the Keurig Alta system in various beta testing phases with the first starting as early as fall 2024.”

Even still, it’s an all-around beneficial development for the overall environmental impact of coffee. While it would be preferable for everyone to whole bean specialty coffee, creating an environmentally-friendly pod offers a short-term solution with a big upside for the convenience crowd. It may not be the exact end result we all want, but it is a step in the right direction, and a potentially giant one at that.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.