With environmental awareness growing, an increasing number of companies are committing to reducing their environmental footprint and creating a positive impact with their products. One key concept driving innovation is the circular economy. In a traditional, linear economy, a product is made, used, and disposed of. In a circular economy, resources are used to their maximum potential, kept in use for as long as possible, and recycled into new products at the end of their service life. 

Within this model, the social and environmental impacts of production are taken into account at every stage of a product’s life cycle, effectively designing waste out of the system. This radical, systemic shift has the potential for society-wide benefits, with the opportunity to touch a wide range of issues from resource scarcity to climate change.

Plastics are ubiquitous across a wide variety of industries, from packaging to transportation to the biocompatible plastics used in medicine. Thus, changing the way we approach plastic use is critical to achieving a global circular economy. With the combined effort of manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, it’s possible to establish an environmentally-sustainable, circular life for plastics. 

Keurig Dr Pepper commits to unified corporate responsibility strategy

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) recently announced an ambitious set of goals and a unified corporate responsibility strategy designed to increase its participation in the circular economy across its broad portfolio of products. Uniting under the “Drink Well. Do Good.” platform, KDP is focusing on four key areas where it can have the greatest positive impact: the environment, the supply chain, health and well-being, and communities. KDP will utilize key industry partnerships to achieve its goals across these areas.

With the combined effort of manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, it’s possible to establish an environmentally-sustainable, circular life for plastics.

“Cooperation multiplies effort exponentially and we know we can maximize our impact through strategic and meaningful partnerships across our corporate responsibility focus areas and our business as a whole,” says Cynthia Shanks, Director of Communications and Sustainability at Keurig Canada. “Creating a more sustainable economy is no small undertaking and we know collaboration will accelerate our pace to reach our collective ambitions.”

By 2025, KDP has committed to 100% of its packaging being recyclable or compostable, and also to incorporating at least 30% post-consumer recycled materials across its packaging portfolio, sending zero waste to landfills across its operations, and using 100% renewable electricity, among other goals. 

KDP is a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation focused on creating a circular economy for plastics. Other key partnerships include The Recycling Partnership, the Closed Loop Fund, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s ReSource: Plastic activation hub, which aims to accelerate action and impact to eliminate plastic waste.

Closing the plastics loop with its best-selling coffee makers

As part of its work on developing a circular economy, KDP is working with the Quebec-based Groupe Lavergne to incorporate post-consumer recycled materials into its coffee makers. Lavergne is providing recycled plastics for use in select Keurig® coffee makers. As KDP and Lavergne work through the challenges of sourcing food-grade recycled plastics for internal parts, the percentage of recycled materials used in these coffee makers is set to increase over time.

In addition, KDP has committed to buying 100% responsibly-sourced coffee by 2020. (KDP has already been the largest purchaser of Fair Trade® coffee in the world for nine consecutive years, through purchases for its own brands and its partner brands.) Additionally, KDP strives to positively impact farmers’ lives through projects that increase farmers’ yield, profitability, and resilience.

 

Keurig Dr Pepper infographic