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Keurig Canada to pay $3M fine for misleading recyclability claim

Canada’s Competition Bureau investigated claims regarding the recyclability of Keurig Canada’s single-use coffee pods.

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January 10, 2022

Keurig Canada Inc. has reached an agreement with Canada’s Competition Bureau to resolve concerns over false or misleading environmental claims made to consumers about the recyclability of its single-use Keurig K-Cup pods. These claims are stated on Keurig Canada’s website, social media and on text and logos on the K-Cup pods and packaging.

As part of the settlement, Keurig Canada has agreed to pay a $3 million penalty and donate $800,000 to a Canadian charitable organization focused on environmental causes. The company also intends to change its recyclable claims and the packaging of the K-Cup pods by publishing corrective notices about the recyclability of its product on its website, social media, news media, on its packaging for all new brewing machines and via an email to its subscribers.

According to a news release from the Competition Bureau, the bureau had investigated Keurig Canada’s claims regarding the recyclability of its single-use coffee pods. Based on that investigation, the bureau reports that the company’s claims are false and misleading in areas where they are not accepted for recycling and outside the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, K-Cup pods are not widely accepted in municipal recycling programs.

The bureau also reports that Keurig Canada’s claims about the steps involved to prepare the pods for recycling are false or misleading in certain municipalities.

“Keurig Canada’s claims give the impression that consumers can prepare the pods for recycling by peeling the lid off and emptying out the coffee grounds, but some local recycling programs require additional steps to recycle the pods,” the bureau states.

Keurig Canada also has agreed to pay $85,000 to cover the costs of the bureau’s investigation.

“Portraying products or services as having more environmental benefits than they truly have is an illegal practice in Canada,” says Matthew Boswell, commissioner of competition for Canada’s Competition Bureau. “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.”