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100% of K-Cup Pods Now Made from Recyclable Plastic

As of the end of 2020, all K-Cup® pods we produce are made with recyclable polypropylene (#5) plastic – a strong material that meets our stringent requirements for food safety and compatibility with our brewing process. Based on extensive testing, we also know polypropylene plastic items can be processed in most recycling systems around the country and that polypropylene is in strong demand as a recycled material. Beyond coffee pods, polypropylene is a highly regarded material found in everyday consumer packaging like yogurt cups, butter tubs, prescription bottles, and many others.

However, consumers are increasingly confused about where their recyclables end up after they put them in the bin – and many question if the items they recycle actually become recycled content for products or end up in landfills. Recyclers are similarly skeptical about what will happen when new recyclable products enter the stream. We partnered with VOX to showcase our investment in innovative RFID technology to better understand the journey of our pods through the recycling stream.  Watch our VOX Explainer video for more information here.

We also recognize that there is further opportunity to expand the collection and reuse of #5 plastic items. New technology, including robotics, is greatly improving the sorting process at recycling facilities and is increasing the quality of recycled materials that were once overlooked, like polypropylene. These innovations have improved the quality of recycled polypropylene making the material more valuable to recyclers and manufacturers and more usable as a recycled material. To learn more about how we are working with innovative partners like AMP Robotics to leverage artificial intelligence in improving sortation of polypropylene items, check out this VOX Explainer video here.                   

Importantly, our investment in The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Coalition is helping to provide local grants for improved sortation equipment in recycling facilities to enable access to this valuable material – so it can get made into new products such as personal care packaging, food packaging, and automotive parts.  Learn more here.       

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