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The Street
The Street
Colette Bennett

Keurig K-Cup Customers May Be Entitled to Cash

If you're the type that prefers a quick cup of coffee in the morning before you run out the door to join the herd of commuters, there's a good chance you own a Keurig (KDP) K-Cup machine.

Since the machine debuted in 1998, people have enjoyed the simplicity and novelty of popping a pod into a Keurig and letting it do all the work. 

And while coffee snobs insist that the quality of K-Cup coffee is subpar compared with what you get at a coffeehouse, plenty of folks could care less as long as they get that dose of sweet, sweet caffeine.

Of course, K-Cups do have one nasty downside: They're made of plastic, which naturally creates a ton of waste. Keurig Dr. Pepper knows this, which is why in 2016 it said it would change the packaging. It's poured a lot of resources into changing what the product is made of. It even changed the tagline on its packaging to "Have your cup and recycle it, too."

As of 2020 K-Cups have been made of polypropylene, which Keurig Dr. Pepper calls "a widely accepted plastic in most curbside recycling programs". 

But a lawsuit filed against the company in 2018 claims this is not the case -- and now that lawsuit has resulted in a class action settlement that may mean Keurig owes you some money.

Keurig's Class-Action Settlement

The lawsuit against Keurig challenged the company's claim that K-Cups were easy to recycle, saying that a majority of recycling companies won't accept them because they're "too small" and there's "no market for materials made from them."

While Keurig did not confirm any wrongdoing in the matter, it has been ordered to pay out $10 million to customers who owned a K-Cup machine for home use between June 8, 2016, and Aug. 8, 2022. 

If you are one of those customers, you can request a refund of $3.50 per 100 pods purchased, with a minimum payment of $6 and a maximum of $36. Proof of purchase is not required to file a claim, but without it, you can claim a maximum of $5 per household.

Claims can be submitted here and the deadline to submit one is Jan. 9, 2023, at 11:59 pm EST. Claims can also be sent by mail, but since today is the last day to submit a claim, it's advised that you do it online versus mailing it in.

The company has also agreed to add larger print on its packaging specifying that the K-Cups are not recyclable in many communities. 

Will Keurig Change K-Cups?

The company has not said it would change the plastic it currently uses for manufacturing K-Cups. But it does state on its website that it's working toward ensuring that more recycling facilities across the U.S. have the ability to recycle polypropylene.

"In addition to converting 100% of K-Cup pods to the recyclable format, KDP has intensified its efforts to ensure that recycling facilities across the U.S. have the capability to recycle polypropylene," the site says.

"In 2020, with a $10 million commitment, KDP became a Founding Member and the largest funder of The Recycling Partnership's Polypropylene Recycling Coalition ("The Coalition"), a collaborative of 18 organizations, including fellow steering committee members Braskem, the Walmart Foundation and the NextGen Consortium, dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of polypropylene recycling in the U.S." 

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