September 30, 2010

Recyclable K-Cup Packaging - The Anatomy of a Paper K-Cup

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Printed on recyclable cardboard, the Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea Paper K-Cups packaging is recyclable, but the K-Cups are not just yet.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has released a new green tea in a K-Cup portion pack made with paper. Celestial Seasonings Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea Paper K-Cups are the first beverage to be offered in the new paper-based K-Cup, which is designed for use in the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System. We thought we'd take apart one of these K-Cups, and also show you the new packaging and just how recyclable it is.

We wanted to let you know the tea produced from the Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea Paper K-Cups is really yummy. Sweet hints of lemon mix with the green tea producing a very hot and relaxing cup of tea.

This K-Cup portion-pack is 90% paper. The rest of the portion-pack is polyethylene, which is necessary to both protect the tea and help the package withstand the intense heat that is applied during the brewing process - currently, no biopolymers (including polylactic acid or PLA) can live up to the demands of the brewing system. Unfortunately, the added polyethylene means the K-Cup is not yet fully recyclable or compostable but Green Mountain believes it is still a big step forward, and so do we.


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The entire package is recyclable making it a "step towards
sustainability"

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This is a paper K-Cup you can't recycle, but you can see it's made out of paper. Even the lid and bottom are
made of paper, with the paper wrapping around the outer edge.

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Taking apart the K-Cup yields a paper filter.

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The outer packaging is made of 100% recycled FSC-Certified paper.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 30, 2010 7:55 AM
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