Big news broke out of the recent Plastics Caps & Closures Conference that Keurig Green Mountain Inc. is charting a course to make easily recyclable all those K-Cups that are now finding their way into the trash for the most part.
While progress on a switch to polypropylene and away from a No. 7 layered K-Cup will take place over time, there is one question that can be answered now.
Will you have to empty out the coffee grounds to allow the K-Cups to be recycled?
The answer is yes, and no.
Chief Sustainability Officer Monique Oxender at Keurig Green Mountain, and she said the company will want customers to do just a little work before tossing K-Cups into the recycling bin.
“The intent will be to simply peel the lid, empty the grounds, recycle. It was certainly a finding that the grounds need to be exited from the product,” Oxender said.
But Stephanie Baker, director of market development for KW Plastics Division in Troy, Ala., said that her company's recycling system handled the grounds.
KW Plastics Recycling Division recently conducted recycling tests of the pods and the two women unveiled the results of successful trials at the conference organized by Plastics News in suburban Chicago.
“While the grinds do make for some dirty water, we handle all kinds of residuals. Coffee is organic. We can deal with that,” Baker said. “It did not affect the end result whatsoever.”