Canadian coffee pod company fined $3m for greenwashing

Rose Mary Petrass

coffee pods waste

In yet another warning that patience is wearing thin with greenwashing a Canadian coffee pod company that claimed unrealistic recyclability levels has been fined $3 million ordered to change its packaging. 

Keurig suggested a simple recycling process was needed for its coffee pods – in a marketing ploy that did not in fact line up with reality. Since its theoretical recycling process was rarely compatible with municipal recycling systems, the pods have been deemed problematic by the recycling industry and Canada’s Competition Bureau.

Keurig must issue corrective notices about its product on its websites, social media, and news sites. It voluntarily made an $800,000 donation to an environmental charity and paid $85,000 in expenses for the Bureau’s case.

“Portraying products or services as having more environmental benefits than they truly have is an illegal practice in Canada,” announced Competition Bureau Canada Commissioner Matthew Boswell. “False or misleading claims by businesses to promote ’greener’ products harm consumers who are unable to make informed purchasing decisions, as well as competition and businesses who actually offer products with a lower environmental impact,” he added.


Keurig is just one culprit of greenwashing.

This comes as last month Canada released long-awaited draft regulations prohibiting six types of single-use plastic products. 

Companies such as Keurig continue to be called out for rampant greenwashing as more environmentally-conscious consumers and companies wake up to the realities of the climate crisis worldwide. 

Other recent culprits of greenwashing range from a Korean cosmetics brand Innisfree which had “Hello, I‘m Paper Bottle” printed on the outside of a bottle that was in fact a plastic bottle simply wrapped in paper.

In Australian oil heavyweight Santos that was taken to court in August over “clean fuel” claims relying on unproven carbon capture tech.


Some greenwashing culprits are so easy to spot.