Keurig Green Mountain plans to change the plastic in its ubiquitous K-cups by 2020 to make them more recyclable and attract more eco-friendly customers who have complained about the plastic cups going to landfills. The company is switching from polystryrene to polypropylene, which has more value as it can be recycled into other products.
“Our goal is 100 percent Keurig K-cup pods diverted from landfills by curbside recycling,” said Monique Oxender, Keurig’s chief sustainability officer, in a Washington Post article. “The consumer is going to brew it, peel and empty it, and pop the pod into the recycling bin in the same behavior they would do with a yogurt cup. We want them to make it a habit.”
The move can be seen as a way to jump start sluggish sales; more than 23 million Keurig machines were in North American homes at the end of the third quarter last year, the company noted. The company also said it sold 10.5 billion K-cups in fiscal 2015, the latest sales data available before Keurig Green Mountain became a private when it was purchased by JAB Holding Co.