September 30, 2010

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

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.

The entire package is recyclable making it a "step towards

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.

Taking apart the K-Cup yields a paper filter.

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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