Keurig Lawsuit Over Recycling Pod Claim Moves Forward

A putative class action suit was brought against Keurig Green Mountain alleging that the company’s “recyclable” single-serve plastic pods were mislabeled and are not in fact recyclable due to their size, composition, and lack of secondary market. The case was originally brought by Kathleen Smith, a California resident who says she would not have purchased the pods, nor paid the amount she did for them, had she known her municipality, nor any facility in the country, was not capable of recycling the pods due to their small size and contamination from paper filter and foil lid.

Keurig attempted to have the case dismissed based on multiple reasons, including their First Amendment right to state their product is recyclable and that Smith had not suffered an actual injury because of the company’s labeling, which does tell consumers to “check locally” for recycling facilities.

United States District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam denied the company’s dismissal, stating in his decision, “Plaintiff [Kathleen Smith] alleges that the Pods are not recyclable anywhere….unless this dispute of fact is resolved in Defendant’s [Keurig’s] favor, a proposed class of people who purchased the Pods does not seem overbroad, as everyone who purchased the Pods, regardless of the capabilities of their local MRFs, [municipal recycling facilities] would be affected.”