Keurig Canada hit with $3 million fine for making misleading claims about K-Cup recycling

Jan. 10, 2022

Canada's Competition Bureau announced last week that Keurig Canada Inc. will pay a $3 million penalty for making false or misleading claims to consumers about the recyclability of single-use K-Cups.

In a Jan. 6 statement, the bureau, an independent law enforcement agency, said the coffee company voluntarily reached an agreement that includes the fine along with a $800,000 donation to an environmental charity and $85,000 in expenses for the case.

A bureau investigation found that, outside the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, K-Cup pods are currently not widely accepted in municipal recycling programs.

The bureau also concluded 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," according to a bureau statement.

According to the bureau, Keurig Canada's recyclable claims were made on its website, via social media, and on text and logos on the K-Cup pods and packaging. The settlement also covers recyclability claims made on packages of K-cup pods for brands marketed in partnership with Keurig Canada.

As part of the settlement, Keurig Canada also agreed to change its recyclable claims and the packaging of the K-Cup pods. It also agreed to publish corrective notices about the recyclability of its product on its websites, on social media, in national and local news media, in the packaging of all new brewing machines and via email to its subscribers.

Additionally, Keurig Canada will enhance its corporate compliance program as necessary to promote compliance with the laws and prevent deceptive marketing issues in the future.

According to sources, Keurig reportedly came to an agreement to a settle a class-action suit in the United States over similar misleading recyclability marketing in December, however details of that settlement are not yet public.

"Portraying products or services as having more environmental benefits than they truly have is an illegal practice in Canada," said commissioner of competition-Matthew Boswell. "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."

Boswell acknowledged Keurig Canada's voluntary cooperation in resolving this matter.


Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.
Keurig Dr Pepper Drinks Hero
Coffee Service

Keurig Dr Pepper delivers high single-digit net sales, double-digit EPS growth in Q3

Oct. 29, 2021
Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (Nadaq: KDP) on Oct. 28 reported strong and balanced financial results for its third quarter, ended Sep. 30, 2021, and raised its guidance for net sales ...
[Credit: Güdpod Corp]
Güdpod Compostable Coffee Capsules
Coffee Service

Güdpod to bring Keurig, Nespresso compostable pods to North America

June 21, 2021
Newburgh, NY-based Güdpod Corp. said it has signed an exclusive agreement with Imper SpA of Milan, Italy, for the North American distribution rights of its patented, compostable...
[Photo: Smile Beverage Werks]
Smile Beverage Werks K Cup 3x
Coffee Service

Smile Beverage Werks’ K-Cup compatible coffee pod earns USDA certification as a biobased product

March 22, 2021
Darien, CT-based Smile Beverage Werks said it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased Product label for its coffee pods compatible with Keurig’s K-Cup...
[Photo: Ocean Conservancy]
Ocean Conservancy Whale Pic

Keurig gets serious about stopping plastic waste; joins Plastics Pacts, Trash Free Seas

Jan. 29, 2021
Keurig Dr Pepper, maker of single-serve plastic K-Cups, announced that it has become a signatory in two regional initiatives sustainability sponsored by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation...