UK retailer Morrisons has announced a partnership with recycling scheme Podback, offering customers an option to recycle coffee pods.
Over the coming weeks, customers will be able to pick up free Podback Collect+ recycling bags from the retailer's customer service desks.
The Podback bags with used coffee pods can be deposited at one of the 6,500 Collect+ delivered by Yodel drop off points around the UK.
All postage back to Podback is free of charge, the retailer noted.
The Podback scheme turns used aluminium pods into aluminium ingots for new products, such as beverage cans, and plastic pods into other plastic items, such as furniture.
The used coffee grounds go through the process of anaerobic digestion to produce a combination of biogas and soil enhancer.
Rick Hindley, executive director of Podback, said, “Podback provides consumers all over the UK with an easy way to recycle their coffee pods, no matter what brand they are buying. Morrisons is the first retailer to become a supporter of the Podback scheme, as well as provide bags in store.
“This is a great step forward and progress towards ensuring recycling coffee pods becomes second nature. Our goal is to ensure every pod enjoyed is recycled and working with retailers, like Morrisons, is crucial to ensuring the scheme is convenient and simple. We welcome other retailers to join to make it even easier for consumers to recycle pods in the future.”
Podback Recycling Scheme
Podback is the first coffee pod recycling scheme of its kind in the UK and was set up by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK, Morrisons added.
Current participating brands include Nespresso, Tassimo, L’OR, Nescafé Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Cru Kafe, Artisan Coffee Co, Allpress Espresso, Colonna Coffee, and Café Palmieri by Jomad Coffee.
Coffee pod sales have increased by 32% from pre-pandemic levels, as more people worked from home.
It is estimated that 1.2bn pods were bought in the UK in 2021.
Lorraine Wheeler, environmental packaging manager at Morrisons, said, “Many of our customers want to brew fresh coffee at home using a coffee pod. But to date, coffee pod recycling has been confusing for consumers, with several different schemes by multiple brands. Podback offers an easy, simple scheme for all of our customers.”
Waste Reduction Initiatives At Morrisons
The partnership with Podback is part of a series of waste reduction initiatives at Morrisons.
Since 2017, the retailer has reduced its own brand plastic packaging in its 497 stores by over 8,000 tonnes a year and eliminated plastic ‘bags for life’.
It replaced plastic bags with paper alternatives for loose fruit and vegetables, and also introduced a refillable container service at its fish, meat, and deli counters to reduce single-use packaging.