A new comprehensive multi-brand coffee pod recycling scheme is set to launch in the UK at the start of 2021, driven by the industry.
Consumers with access to the programme will be able to recycle pods via Collect+ pick-up points and kerbside collection, while plans are in place to create a retailer ‘handover at home’ option, whereby grocers pick up the used pods when dropping off online deliveries.
Nespresso parent group Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK (JDE UK), which is part of the JDE Peet’s Group, are founders of the coffee pod recycling scheme, and they are calling for all brands of aluminium and plastic pods to join this ‘Podback’ programme.
Exeter City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, and South Derbyshire District Council are in advanced discussions with Podback to become the first confirmed local authority partners. In time, it is hoped the coffee pod recycling initiative will be rolled out nationwide.
Podback, a not-for-profit organisation, will represent the UK’s first cross-industry collaboration of its kind within the coffee sector. In 2021, the scheme will initially cover some of the most popular at-home coffee choices in the UK, Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, and Tassimo, but the ambition is to add other names in due course.
Guillaume Chesneau, managing director of Nespresso UK & Ireland, and board director of Podback, commented: “Our ambition is to create a powerful end-to-end recycling solution, available to all, and Podback demonstrates our commitment towards achieving this important goal.
“We are working closely with manufacturers, retailers and local authorities and calling upon them to join us and ensure the scheme has maximum impact.”
Toby Bevans, marketing director for JDE UK & Ireland, and fellow Podbac board director, added: “Together with Nestlé, we are calling on the entire industry to put commercial rivalries aside and collaborate, working together with other brands and retailers to make it as easy as possible for our consumers to recycle their pods.”
The pods have always been recyclable, but YouGov research on behalf of Podback showed consumers were not aware of the options available to them. Podback aims to make the process of recycling these items easier and more accessible.
Of course, there are several coffee brands which have already played their part in helping reduce the number of coffee pods that end up in landfill. Shoreditch Grind, for example, sells composable pods that can be included in council-collected food waste bins once they have been used.
Read more about recycling schemes in retail on Green Retail World
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