Background of the Keurig Coffee Maker Lawsuit
In 2018, Keurig was hit with a class action lawsuit accusing the company of misleading advertising about its K-Cup coffee pods. The lawsuit claimed that Keurig made false statements about the recyclability and environmental friendliness of its plastic K-Cups.
The plaintiffs alleged that despite Keurig’s claims, their K-Cups were not recyclable in many municipal recycling facilities. They also claimed Keurig misled consumers by marketing their pods as made of #5 plastic which is recyclable, when some pods contained other non-recyclable plastics.
Allegations Against Keurig
The main complaints outlined in the lawsuit included:
- False statements about K-Cups being recyclable in local recycling bins
- Misleading marketing about pods being made solely of #5 plastic
- Encouraging improper disposal by consumers leading to increased plastic pollution
- Unfair business practices intended to mislead consumers
Keurig was accused of making recycling claims to appeal to more eco-conscious consumers, all while knowing their products were rarely getting recycled.
Keurig denied the lawsuit’s claims, stating that they never intended to mislead consumers about the recyclability of their K-Cups. The company said they make efforts to use recyclable materials when possible and provide recycling instructions to consumers.
Keurig also noted how difficult plastic recycling can be due to inconsistencies in municipal recycling programs. They said they were working to improve recycling options but could not control how local facilities processed materials.
Status of the Lawsuit
The class action lawsuit against Keurig remains ongoing as negotiations continue around a possible settlement. Keurig has not admitted wrongdoing but appears motivated to settle in order to avoid further legal fees and public scrutiny.
The company recently announced a new effort to make all K-Cup pods recyclable in commercial facilities by 2020. However, critics say too much plastic waste has already been produced. The lawsuit may force Keurig to reevaluate their sustainability promises.
Frequently Asked Questions
What damages are plaintiffs seeking?
The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for false advertising and misrepresentation. They also want Keurig to pay into a fund to improve recycling efforts.
Does this lawsuit affect all Keurig products?
Yes, the legal action relates to all K-Cup pods manufactured by Keurig, including those under brand names like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
Has Keurig changed their K-Cups since the lawsuit?
Keurig claims they are working on an entirely polypropylene-based pod to make all their K-Cups widely recyclable. But current pods on store shelves are likely the same difficult-to-recycle plastic.
What types of plastic are used in K-Cups?
Keurig uses #5 polypropylene plastic for the cups, but the lids and internal membranes may contain polyethylene and other mixed plastics. These other plastics contaminate recycling streams.
How many K-Cups does Keurig sell annually?
Keurig claims to sell over 9 billion K-Cup pods every year. So the potential environmental impact from improperly disposed cups is enormous.
The Keurig lawsuit echoes similar consumer protection claims like those in the Weston Dean Custom Homes lawsuit alleging deceptive business practices.