Keurig is currently in hot water (sorry) due to claims it made about the recyclability of its K-Cup coffee pods. Those claims led to a class action, and while the original deadline to get in on this lawsuit has passed, there might still be time for some to apply, reports MarketWatch.
The class action suit against Keurig, explained
The lawsuit alleges that, despite the fact that Keurig’s single-use coffee pods are made from a recyclable material, polypropylene, and despite the fact that the packaging states these K-Cups are recyclable, Keurig’s pods mostly end up in landfills—and the company is aware of this. Although polypropylene is recyclable, many recycling companies won’t accept K-Cups because they’re so small. The pods might also be rejected by a recycling company if they’re not cleaned out properly and still contain coffee grounds or residue.
Keurig denies any wrongdoing, but the company has agreed to pay a $10 million settlement to consumers who bought K-Cups between June 8, 2016 and August 8, 2022. This period of time is when Keurig’s pods were clearly labeled as recyclable and the brand used the tagline “Have your cup and recycle it too” in its marketing materials.
The original deadline to file a claim was on January 9, 2023, but if you received an email in December informing you of the lawsuit, you have until January 30 to file a claim, per the settlement website.
Those who choose to file a claim can request $3.50 per 100 pods purchased, up to $36, with proof of purchase. Without proof of purchase, you can only claim a maximum of $5 per household. Although the maximum payout isn’t life-changing in any way, it’s still a few extra bucks you didn’t have before. Proof of purchase is key in getting the most out of your claim, if you choose to file one.
Other food and beverage lawsuits
Keurig isn’t the only major food and beverage brand embroiled in such lawsuits, of course. Most recently, Fireball, the spicy cinnamon whiskey that “tastes like heaven [but] burns like hell,” has been under fire for product labels that some consumers believe to be deliberately misleading. Two different products, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Fireball Cinnamon, have virtually identical labels, yet the latter is a flavored malt beverage that contains no whisky at all.
Back in November, the Kraft Heinz Company was sued by a consumer who claimed the company misrepresented the cooking time for its Velveeta Shells & Cheese. The packaging states that the cheesy shells are “ready in 3 1/2 minutes,” a claim that fails to take prep time into account. The customer sued the company for $5 million.
It’s only January, so who knows what other food lawsuits might come down the pipeline in 2023. As for Keurig, if you’re truly not okay with the impact those little coffee pods could have on the environment, you might want to consider putting any settlement money toward a new coffee maker.
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