Twenty-five district attorneys' offices in California settled a consumer protection action against Costco and San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee that alleged that the companies made misleading "green" claims. As part of the settlement, the companies agreed to pay jointly $500,000 in civil penalties and costs.
According to the Alameda County District Attorney, San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee's plastic coffee pods and the plastic bags containing the pods were improperly labeled as "97% biodegradable" and "biodegradable."
The Alameda County DA also alleged that the company marketed the plastic coffee pods as compostable when the pods had not met proper compostability standards. In addition, the DA alleged that the company also labeled its “Onecup” coffee pods as a “No Plastic Cup,” when parts of the cup were made of plant-based plastic
California law places strict limitations on the use of "biodegradable" and "compostable" claims.
“Today’s settlement marks a victory for both environmental and consumer protection throughout California,” states DA O’Malley.