Plastic Free, Non Toxic Coffee Maker – Coffee Makers Without Plastic

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Non Toxic Coffee Maker

Non Toxic Coffee Maker – Which coffee makers are plastic free?

 

My husband and I drink coffee daily and we’ve been using a Keurig coffee maker at home.   The Keurig coffee machine is awesome.  It offers a very convenient and fast way to brew delicious coffee.  The model we have also has a lot of options for brewing coffee.  However, it has been worrying me that we have been brewing coffee in a plastic material.  Its large 75oz removable water reservoir and tubes are made of polystyrene plastic.  Although this material is FDA approved BPA free plastic, it touches hot water that we are drinking.  Keurig K-Cup Pods also has other plastic parts that touch hot water.  We have been trying to eliminate plastic at our home and we’ve replacing many household items with non plastic products one by one.   Now it’s time to replace our coffee machine with a plastic-free coffee maker.   In addition, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about plastic-free coffee makers lately so I decided to research non toxic coffee makers further.  In this post, I will share with you how coffee makers can be toxic and what non toxic coffee maker options are available. 

 

 

How Coffee Maker Can Be Toxic

 

Plastic

A coffee maker contains plastic parts.  Plastic is made of hundreds to thousands of chemicals.  European Chemical Agency identified over 400 chemicals that are commonly used in plastics.  Many of them are toxic and hazardous.  Also, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers analyzed 34 everyday plastic products made of eight types of plastic. They found more than 1000 chemicals in these plastics and 80 percent were unknown chemicals.  Seventy-four percent of the products they tested turned out be toxic in some way.  Researchers concluded that harmful chemicals could be found in nearly any type of plastic.  Depending on a type of plastic, several thousand different additives can be used in the plastic production.  

Plastic not only has harmful chemicals but also releases these chemicals from products.  According to a report by the Blastic, when plastic pellets made of polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) were kept in artificial seawater for 24 hours in a laboratory experiment, additives and residual monomers leached from plastic pellets.  A similar study investigating leaching of additives from common plastic products made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), all of the studied plastics leached additives or oligomers. 

 

 

Plastic With Hot Water

Plastic leaches chemicals.  However, when you place plastic with heat, heat breaks down plastic and it leaches chemicals even more.   According to an article by ABC News, a research suggests that exposing plastic bottles to boiling water can release potentially harmful chemicals 55 times faster than normal.  The study also suggests if the bottles were briefly exposed to boiling water, they released BPA 55 times more rapidly than before being dunked in the hot water.  Even warm water is not good either.   Research suggests that people should avoid drinking water from plastic bottles if the bottles have been sitting in a warm environment for a long time.  Researchers from the University of Florida found that when plastic water bottles (which were made from polyethylene terephthalate) were heated, they released chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and antimony.  BPA is an endocrine disruptor and antimony is a carcinogen.  The study also found that the longer you store warm water in plastic water bottles, antimony and BPA levels increased.  

One of the concerns for coffee makers with plastic is that coffee makers heat water to brew coffee and plastic can be toxic with hot water.   A water reservoir, tubes, the lid and filtering parts can be made of plastic in a coffee maker.  Heat increases the amount that chemical releases from plastic which can leach into our coffee and ultimately our bodies.  Also, chemical migration increases when plastic touches fatty, salty, or acidic foods.  Coffee is considered to be acidic.  Therefore, hot coffee in contact with plastic is probably not a good idea. 

 

 

BPA Free Plastics

You will see often that products are made of BPA free plastics. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disruptor and very harmful.  However, one study says BPA replacement chemicals such as bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol AF (BPAF) have similar adverse effects on the reproductive system as BPA and can be also harmful .  Another study says that estrogenic chemicals often leach from BPA-free plastic products that are replacements for BPA-containing polycarbonate products.  In the study, many stressed and unstressed plastic replacement products made from acrylic, polystyrene, polyethersulfone, and Tritan™ resins leached significant levels of chemicals with estrogen activity (EA).  The bpa-free products tested to see if they leach chemicals with estrogen activity included baby products.  Although there were some products that didn’t release estrogen chemicals, this study shows that products with BPA-free doesn’t mean the products are estrogen chemical free.  Another study also states that most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals. They also found that in some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more estrogenic activity than did BPA-containing products.  There are more studies that concluded that most plastic products release chemicals with estrogenic chemicals.

 

 

Coffee Pods 

Keurig coffee makers brew coffee within a minute.  All you have to do is to insert an individually packaged coffee pod into the machine and you have a delicious cup of coffee.  You can just throw away the used pod and press a button in the machine to clean the coffee residue in the system with hot water.  It is so easy and convenient to use.  All you have to do is to buy individually packaged coffee pods for the machine and no grinding or scooping is involved.  

However, coffee pods come with an environmental concern.  K-Cup pods have been gaining a lot of popularity and expanded over the years. According to an article by Atlantic, almost one in three American homes in 2015 had a pod-based coffee machine and an article by USA says 41 percent of Americans own a single-cup coffee maker in 2019.  In 2013, Keurig Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups.  That is enough to circle the Earth 10.5 times.  In 2014, Keurig sold 9.8 billion Keurig-brewed portion packs and 10.5 billion in 2015.   K-Cup pods end up in landfills because they are not recyclable or biodegradable.  Keurig stated they will create a fully recyclable version of the K-Cup by 2020.  Keurig says K-Cup pods can be recycled by designing the pods which you can peel off the foil lid, compost the coffee grounds, and recycle the plastic #5 cup in local community recycling programs.  This is to start in the beginning of 2020 in Canada and be completed in US by the end of 2020.  However, according to the CBS news, a lawsuit was filed against Keurig because their marketing of recycling K-Cup pods are misleading. The judge found the company’s contention illogical because the pods in fact aren’t recyclable through any recycling facility in the country and the case was ruled to proceed.  According to the article, K-Cup pods are too small and light to be captured by most materials-recovery facilities.  K-Cup pods were made of #7 plastic in the past which is not recyclable.  They are making a transition to #5 plastic so it can be recycled.  However, the size and weight is too small and light to be recycled at most recycling facilities.  

K-Cup pods also cause a health concern too.   They are made of BPA-free plastic and meets or exceeds applicable FDA standards. However, non-BPA plastic can still release estrogenic activity.  K-Cup pods, tubing and a water reservoir in the Keurig machine all have contact with hot water.  Chemicals from plastic can end up in your finished coffee.  Also, many people drink coffee daily for years and this can be daily rituals of drinking plastic chemicals.  

In addition, single individual K-Cup coffee is way more expensive than coffee made from beans.   According to the Business Insider article,  coffee costs $190 per year for the Coffee Potters and $800 for the K-Cuppers.  According to the New York Times article, K-Cup coffee costs roughly $50 per pound.  Most high-end coffees cost less than $20 a pound, around $12 for Starbucks and $9 for Dunkin Donuts of 1 lbs of coffee beans. 

 

 

Non Toxic Coffee Makers

Most of coffee machines have plastic parts such as a plastic water reservoir, a plastic funnel, a plastic lid or plastic tubes.   The coffee makers I listed below have no plastic parts (except for the last two).  The last two coffee makers are automatic coffee machines.  I couldn’t find any coffee machines that were made without any plastic parts.  At least the one of the machines, you can replace a plastic part to a stainless steel with a separate purchase to make the machine plastic-free.  Let’s take a look!

 

 

Non Toxic Coffee Makers – Percolators

 

Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Presto stainless steel coffee maker is made of all stainless steel with no plastic parts.

Interior: Stainless steel

Filter Basket: Stainless steel

Perk Tube: Stainless steel

More Info

 

 

 

Farberware Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Farberware Classic Yosemite stainless steel coffee percolator is made of stainless steel except for the top of the lid. Top of the perculator lid (a handle for the lid) is made of plastic.

Interior: The interior is made of stainless steel.

Filter Basket: This coffee maker features a permanent filter basket made of stainless steel. 

More Info

 

 

 

 

Non Toxic Coffee Maker – Pour Over Coffee Makers

 

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Chemex pour over coffee maker is made of glass with no plastic parts.

Container: Borosilicate Glass

Filter: Filter is not included. You can use your own filter that is made of stainless steel.

More Info

 

 

 

 

Coffee Gator Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Coffee Gator pour over coffee maker is made of glass with no plastic parts.   A filter is included and it is made of stainless steel. 

Container: Borosilicate Glass

Filter: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Cafellissimo pour over coffee maker is made of all stainless steel with no plastic parts.

Container:  Container is not included. You can use your own.

Filter: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

Ovalware Pour Over Coffee Dripper Maker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Ovalware pour over coffee maker is made of glass with no plastic parts.  A stainless filter is included. 

Container: BorosilicateGlass

Filter: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

Ovalware Paperless Stainless Steel Pour Over Coffee Filter – Plastic Free Coffee Filter

Ovalware stainless steel pour over coffee filter fits most branded coffee carafes including the 6, 8 and 10 cup Chemex Coffee Makers and Hario V60 02 and 03 drippers.

Filter: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

 

 

Non Toxic Coffee Makers – French Press

 

Mueller French Press – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Mueller French Press coffee maker is made of all stainless steel with no plastic parts.

Interior: All Stainless Steel

Filters: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

 

Secura French Press Coffee Maker – Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

Secura French Press coffee maker is made of all stainless steel with no plastic parts.

Interior: Stainless Steel

Filters: Stainless Steel

More Info

 

 

 

 

Non Toxic Coffee Makers – Coffee Machines 

 

Bunn VP-17 Coffee Maker – Almost Plastic Free Coffee Maker

 

This Bunn coffee model is from a Bunn’s commercial coffee maker line. This model is made of all stainless steel including the water reservoir. Only a couple of food grade silicone gromets are used as parts. A decanter is not included.

Water Reservoir: Stainless Steel

Funnel: This is the only thing that is not made of stainless steel materials. However,  you can replace the plastic funnel with a metal funnel they sell. It is a separate purchase but if you really want a stainless steel metal funnel, you can get it for this coffee machine.  

More Info

 

 

Bunn Stainless Steel Funnel Assembly

 

This Bunn Funnel Assembly is made of stainless steel. They only fit Bunn’s standard commercial units.  Bunn carries coffee makers for homes. Therefore, you may want to check if the Bunn model of your choice is for home or commercial use if you would like to use this funnel.  This funnel fits VP17 coffee machine.

More Info

 

 

 

Behmor Brazen Coffee Maker – Almost Plastic Free Coffee Maker

Behmore Brazen Coffee Machine has a stainless steel water reservoir.  It is also The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) certified. 

Water Reservoir: Stainless Steel

Filter & Filter Basket:  These parts are plastic.  Some people use their own paper filter rather than the filter basket that comes with it. However, the filter would be still plastic. 

More Info

 

 

Final Thoughts

A coffee maker can contribute to exposure of harmful chemicals which can lead to health problems.   I should have looked into what materials our coffee maker is made of a long time ago.  My husband and I drink coffee daily, we try to eliminate toxins from our life.  However, we have been drinking water that was heated in plastic on a daily basis!   We replaced our coffee maker to the Presto Percolator.  I was interested in both the percolator, Presto Coffee Maker and the pour over glass coffee maker, Chemex.   Percolators and pour over coffee makers both have their advantages and disadvantages.  However, it seems percolators offer simpler and faster way to brew coffee than pour over coffee makers so we decided to go with the percolator.   Now that we use an all-stainless steel coffee maker, we don’t have to worry about plastic parts of a coffee maker touching hot water and leaching harmful chemicals.  By not using plastic coffee pods, we are not contributing to the world-wide plastic crisis which harms our planet.  I feel pretty good about our coffee maker and I’m very happy that it is plastic-free. 

 

 

If you are interested in non toxic cookware, please read my previous post, ‘Non Toxic Cookware Guide – What Is The Healthiest And Safest Cookware?

f you are interested in non toxic rice cookers, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Rice Cookers – Rice Cookers With A Stainless Steel Inner Pot‘.

If you want to find out which bottled water brands are safe, please read my post ‘Safe Bottled Water Guide: Which Bottled Water Brands Are Safe?

For non toxic sofa companies that you can shop from, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Sofa Guide – Which Sofa Brand Is Non Toxic?

If you are interested in organic latex mattress, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic, Organic Mattress – The Best Organic Latex Mattress Brands‘.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Richard March 29, 2020
    • go_new_mommy April 17, 2020
  2. Genaro Bolander April 14, 2020

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