Keurig Green Mountain Inc. is pushing up the recyclability timetable for the company's K-Cup pods made in Canada.
The Waterbury, Vt.-based company now expects 100 percent of the K-Cup pods produced in that market to be recyclable by the end of next year.
Keurig Green Mountain, meanwhile, is maintaining existing plans to have all K-Cup pods recyclable by the end of 2020.
News of the advanced timeframe for Canada comes from the company's latest sustainability report issued June 13. The report covers a variety of environmental issues, including greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and waste diversion.
"We know that reducing the resources that we and our customers use every day yields environmental sustainability for our business, and we are proud of our accelerated progress," Chief Sustainability Officer Monique Oxender said in a statement. "Keeping those resources in use, at their highest value is also critical and delivering on pod recyclability achieves that in a meaningful way for our products and our communities."
Keurig Green Mountain is migrating to polypropylene for its K-Cup pods, a move that is replace a multi-material approach that has challenged the company and opened it up to criticism, often scathing. Even the inventor of the K-Cup has previously said he regretted his invention due to the recycling difficulty.
But there's a difference between an item being recyclable and it being recycled, and Keurig Green Mountain is working on both aspects.
While the company has been transitioning the composition of the K-Cup over the past couple of years, there's also been a focus on the actual sortation and recycling of the PP cups once they reach material recycling facilities, also known as MRFs.
Small items, such as K-Cups, can pose a challenge to MRFs that are typically designed to handle larger recyclables such as bottles, cans and paper. But research is proving that K-Cups can make it through sortation systems, the company said.