100% of Keurig Dr Pepper K-Cup Pods are Now Recyclable

(Credit: Keurig Dr Pepper)

by | Dec 9, 2020

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(Credit: Keurig Dr Pepper)

Keurig Dr Pepper has just announced that all of the K-Cup pods the company produces are now recyclable.

The extensive effort involved converting more than 100 manufacturing lines to produce the pods now made from polypropylene #5 plastic. In addition, new packaging for the recyclable K-Cup pods features a green recyclable flag as well as the How2Recycle label that communicates recycling instructions to consumers.

Keurig Dr Pepper produces approximately 80% of the coffee pods sold at retail for use in Keurig brewers and, earlier this year, began shipping to retailers the new recyclable format, which is now largely transitioned on retail shelves.

To ensure pods could be successfully recovered in recycling facility streams, in 2016 KDP began testing using RFID technology to track tens of thousands of K-Cup pods in various recycling facilities across North America. Those tests demonstrated that K-Cup pods were able to successfully pass through the stream with other recyclables to be further sorted with containers, a finding which was further validated by the Association of Plastic Recyclers.

In addition to converting 100% of K-Cup pods to the new recyclable format, KDP has intensified its efforts to ensure that recycling facilities across the US have the capability to recycle polypropylene. Earlier this year, with a $10 million commitment, KDP became a Founding Member and the largest funder of The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (“The Coalition”), a collaborative of 18 organizations, including fellow steering committee members Braskem, the Walmart Foundation and the NextGen Consortium, dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of polypropylene recycling in the US.

Yesterday, The Coalition announced the recipients of its first four grants – Materials Recovery Facilities in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio – to improve and increase sortation of polypropylene and support targeted consumer education efforts to increase collection of this material. These grants will widen total nationwide acceptance of polypropylene in curbside recycling programs by approximately 1.7% to an additional four million people, resulting in the recovery of a larger supply of polypropylene that could be made into new products such as consumer packaging and automotive parts.

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