Keurig Green Mountain reached coffee pod class action settlement with the Plaintiff

Keurig Green Mountain reached coffee pod class action settlement with the Plaintiff

December 11 - 2021 Coffee Geography Magazine

Keurig Green Mountain has agreed for a  class-action settlement over its coffee pod recyclability claims with a consumer, Lafayette, Calif. resident Kathleen Smith.

The case alleges that the company is deceiving consumers by claiming its polypropylene K-Cups are recyclable.It was first filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in November 2018. A California law firm, Lexington Law Group has been representing Mrs. Smith which is known for dealing a number of legal actions alleging brand owners’ recyclability claims are violating California law.

breakfast blend Keurig

Smith sued Keurig Green Mountain, alleging that Keurig instructed consumers to remove the metal foil from the used K-Cups, compost or discard the coffee grounds, and then recycle the cup and filter, while urging consumers to “check locally to recycle empty cup.” 

The lawsuit claims the cups were leftbehind at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) due to their small size. The suit alleges that if they’re not disposed of by the MRF, the cups can contaminate other recyclables.

A motion to dismiss the case, Keurigreferred the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, which are referenced in California statutes, because as Keurig discloses to consumers that the cups aren’t recyclable in all communities and instructs them to “check locally.” 

Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr. had declined to dismiss the case in 2019 then in September 2020, Gilliam approved an order certifying the class represented by the plaintiff.

The current agreed settlement between Mrs. Smith and Keurig weren’t disclosed in detail. However, in her complaint, Smith asked the court to order Keurig to stop making recycling claims and conduct a “corrective advertising and information campaign.” Smith also asked Judge Gilliam to order Keurig to pay restitution to all class members, damages and punitive damages.

Keurig Green Mountain acquired Dr Pepper Snapple Group in 2018. The company is now part of KeurigDr Pepper, one of the largest beverage companies in North America.