The Podback recycling scheme

Keeping coffee pods out of landfill: Pret A Manger joins Podback recycling scheme

Food and drink-to-go chain Pret A Manger has joined the UK-wide Podback scheme to enable customers to more easily recycle aluminium coffee pods.

Customers signing up to Podback can recycle their pods via Collect+ or through kerbside collections in selected areas, and the Collect+ recycling bags will be been made available in Pret’s UK shops later this year.

In July 2021, Pret launched two aluminium coffee pod blends, Espresso and Classic, which are compatible with Nespresso coffee machines. The products can be purchased via Pret, Sainsburys, and Tesco and on Ocado and Amazon.

Podback, which was launched by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK in 2021, is a not-for-profit service providing customers with multiple ways to recycle their aluminium or plastic coffee pods.

The scheme exists to turn aluminium pods into ingots, which are used in the manufacture of new products – such as beverage cans. Meanwhile, the initiative also ensures collected coffee grounds go through anaerobic digestion to produce a combination of biogas and soil improver.

Rick Hindley, executive director of Podback, said: “We are delighted to welcome Pret as a member of Podback.

“Expanding the scheme to include more brands has been one of our priorities since launching last year, so we’re thrilled to have them on-board. We welcome other retailers and brands to make the scheme even more accessible for consumers.”

Guy Meakin, UK managing director of Pret, added: “We’re always looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment, whether through introducing coffee cup recycling stations in-shop or our 50p reusable cup discount.

“Now that our coffee is increasingly enjoyed in homes around the country, we wanted to find a solution that would help our customers recycle their Pret coffee pods easily. We’re excited to join the Podback scheme to make this possible.”

Following the new partnership with Podback, customers can recycle Pret at-home coffee pods at Collect+ drop-off points or they can order recycling bags alongside their regular pod order at Ocado.

Pret said it will make recycling bags available in its UK shops later in 2022.

Currently, residents of Cheltenham Borough Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Chichester District Council, Oxford City Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Exeter City Council and London Borough of Waltham Forest can have their used pods collected alongside other household waste and recycling – with the service expanding to new areas this year.

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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