Power Shift: Making single-use coffee cups recyclable
Keurig Canada Inc. has reached a settlement agreement with the Competition Bureau of Canada stemming from the company’s claims over the recyclability of its single-use K-Cup coffee pods.
Under the terms of the settlement announced Thursday, Keurig Canada will pay a fine of $3 million, donate $800,000 to a Canadian environment-focused charity, and reimburse the Bureau $85,000 for the cost of its investigation.
The competition watchdog concluded that Keurig misled consumers about being able to recycle its K-Cup coffee pods because they’re generally not accepted by municipal recycling programs outside of British Columbia and Quebec.
It also found Keurig failed to provide all the steps necessary to prepare the pods for recycling in certain municipalities.
The settlement terms also stipulate that Keurig Canada will now be required to publish corrected information about the recyclability of its products on its website, packaging, social media platforms and in news media outlets.
“False or misleading claims by businesses to promote ‘greener’ products harm consumers who are unable to make informed purchasing decisions, as well as competition and businesses who actually offer products with a lower environmental impact,” said Matthew Boswell, Canada’s commissioner of competition, in a press release.
In a statement to BNN Bloomberg, Cynthia Shanks, senior director of communications and sustainability at Keurig Canada, said the company is working on obtaining wider acceptance of its products by the recycling industry.
“The agreement with the Competition Bureau of Canada will further enhance our communications, reminding consumers to verify whether K-Cup pods are accepted in their municipality's recycling program and, if so, any additional steps that may be necessary to prepare the pods for recycling,” she said.