UK retailer Morrisons has introduced recycling points for coffee machine pods in 29 stores across the UK as part of a trial project in association with pod recycling service, Podback.
Natasha Cook, sustainable packaging and plastics manager at Morrisons, explained, "We’re excited to be launching this trial with Podback as we look to make it even easier for our customers who want to brew fresh coffee at home to recycle their used coffee pods."
Last year, Morrisons launched a project to offer free coffee pod recycling bags from Podback across all stores.
Customers could deposit the bags with used coffee pods at one of the 6,500 Yodel drop off points around the UK with postage covered by Podback.
In 2022, around 800 million coffee pods were bought in the UK, according to Kantar, making it even more essential for customers to have an easier route to recycle their pods.
Morrisons added that it is to become a Podback member, which means that Morrisons own-brand pods can be recycled through the scheme, along with 24 other pod brands across the coffee sector.
Coffee Pod Recycling
Rick Hindley, executive director at Podback, said, "Morrisons was the first supermarket to become a supporter of Podback and we’re thrilled that they’re now set to become a member; enabling their own brand pods to be recycled through the service and working with us to further improve access to coffee pod recycling by trialling a new drop-off system.
"This is another exciting step forward towards providing consumers with easy and convenient ways to recycle their used coffee pods. We welcome and encourage other retailers to join Podback and make it even easier for consumers to recycle pods in the future."
The scheme offers colour coded bags – one for aluminium pods one for plastic pods – as pods are separated and sent to different recycling processing plants in the UK.
Aluminium pods are turned into aluminium ingots for new products, such as beverage cans, and the used plastic coffee pods are turned into other plastic items.
The used coffee grounds go through anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and soil improver.
Other recycling facilities offered by Morrisons include soft plastic, battery and inkjet recycling.
Since 2017, Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging by over 10,000 tonnes a year across its store estate comprising around 500 stores.