Tag Archives: green marketing

Keurig Announces Recyclable Pods

Keurig

Last month we wrote about the mounting problem of non-recyclable coffee pods from companies such as Keurig. Estimates are that one in three U.S. households now has a coffee maker that uses pods, and that enough pod trash has been generated to circle the globe more than 10 times.

This week, Keurig announced a new, recyclable, travel mug-sized coffee pod for its Keurig 2.0 system. The new K-Mug pods are made from a different plastic that, unlike the smaller pods, can be recycled – albeit not until it is separated from the lid and filter. The company admitted that its primary focus with the new product was not sustainability though; it was to deliver more brewing options and larger cups to customers. Keurig has reiterated its goal of making all its pods of recyclable plastic by 2020. How much trash will be circling the earth by then?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the difference between legal issues and ethical issues. Is what Keurig selling legal, or ethical?
  2. Poll students: How many have a Keurig or other pod-type of coffee maker? How do they dispose of the waste?
  3. View Keurig’s Web site: http://www.keurig.com/
  4. Discuss ethical considerations for non-sustainable packaging.
  5. Have students discuss options that Keurig (and other coffee pod companies) could implement with regards to social responsibility.

Source: Brandchannel.com

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Done Drinking Coffee? Eat the Cup.

Cup

Look around – how many discarded coffee containers do you see? Plenty, we bet. And this is a wide-spread problem acknowledged by coffee and food vendors. Many coffee shops encourage customers to bring reusable cups and mugs for refills, and often provide a discount for this practice. But despite best intentions, it can be easy to forget the refillable mug, or just not have it available at the moment caffeine is craved. Is there another solution?

The answer by Kentucky Fried Chicken is “yes.” KFC is launching edible coffee cups later this year in the United Kingdom. The cups (called Scoff-ee Cups) are not made with traditional paper, but are instead crafted out of a cookie. Yum. The Scoff-ee Cup is made of cookie, wrapped in edible sugar paper, and includes a layer of heat-resistant white chocolate that is not only delicious, but keeps the coffee hot, the cookie crisp, and makes the coffee a little bit sweeter to imbibe. This is not the only edible cup product, but it is the first to be distributed in fast food restaurants.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss sustainability issues in products and marketing. What are some examples of sustainability in packaging? Non-sustainability (Hint: Think Keurig)?
  2. Show the video of Scoff-ee Cup:

http://youtu.be/f3lbZ6TLxd8

  1. Poll students: How many would use this or similar products?
  2. Identify products or packaging that are damaging the environment due to lack of sustainability.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team brainstorm how products/packages could be improved to promote sustainability.
  4. What is the target market for such products?

Source: CNET, USA Today, Minneapolis Star Tribune, other news sources

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Too Much Trash from Coffee Pods

Trash

Americans love coffee, and love easy-to-use products, too. Combine coffee with easy-to-use packaging and it is estimated that one in three U.S. households currently has a pod-based coffee machine such as Keurig, Tassimo, Nespresso, or other models. That means a lot of coffee pods are bought, and they all need to be discarded. Although companies claim the pods are recyclable, they do not appear to be so. Most pods are manufactured from number 7 plastic, include aluminum in the packaging, and are quite small – meaning the pods are not easily recycled.

With sustainability in products and packaging becoming a more compelling topic in marketing, what should companies do? The K-cup inventor, John Sylvan, originally intended the product for use in offices. He left the company in 1997 and now estimates that the single-cup brewing products product 10 times more solid waste than a cup of coffee made in a more conventional drip machine. Sylvan has gone as far as stating that “I wouldn’t do it now…. The world has changed in 15 years.”

Consumers and advocacy groups are calling for solutions to the problem. Even the pod-manufacturers realize that an environmentally-sound approach is needed, vowing to make the pods recyclable by 2020.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the difference between legal issues and ethical issues.
  2. Poll students: How many have a Keurig or other pod-type of coffee maker? How do they dispose of the waste?
  3. Go to the Web site for “Kill the K-Cup”: http://www.killthekcup.org/
  4. View the mockumentary about pod invasion on the site.
  5. Also, view CBS video about how green the coffee pods are:

http://youtu.be/MapDRRm40S8

  1. Discuss ethical considerations for non-sustainable packaging.

Source: Brandchannel.com, CBS News, East Bay Express, other news sources

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