A first of its kind recycling programme for coffee pods
Podback was set up with a simple mission: to create a world where every coffee pod enjoyed is recycled.
Administered by Ecosurety, the aim is for anyone, anywhere in the country to be able to recycle their pods through one simple service.
A lack of recycling infrastructure and awareness
Over 14 billion coffee pods are sold worldwide every year. Podback-commissioned research conducted by YouGov and undertaken in 2020, found that in the UK 35% of coffee pod drinkers didn't know they could be recycled.
90% also said they'd like to recycle them through their usual household recycling system.
Cross-industry voluntary action
To help provide a practical recycling solution for consumers, Podback was created in association with Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Tassimo – representing the majority of the UK market - with administration support by Ecosurety. It now includes more brands including Cru Kafe, Starbucks and L'OR.
The ambition is to expand the programme to include all coffee brands that use plastic or aluminium pods in the UK and to make the recycling of coffee pods as easy as possible for consumers.
Podback has kerbside collections operational in Exeter, Ipswich, Cheltenham, South Derbyshire, Chichester and Oxford. A top priority is to bring kerbside collections to new locations as this is the most convenient method for consumers to recycle.
The scheme is in active discussions with local authorities across the UK to expand this option.
Where kerbside collections are not yet in place, consumers of the participating brands can request a Podback recycling bag and take their used coffee pods to any of the 6,500 Collect+ drop off points in local stores across the UK.
There are also ongoing discussions with retailers to facilitate a ‘handover at home’ option, so in the future used coffee pods can be collected for recycling when groceries are delivered to consumers homes.
The used coffee pods are separated at a reprocessing plant into coffee grounds and packaging, with the grounds becoming soil improver or renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.
The plastic pods are used to produce pellets, used in the manufacture of high grade plastic items. The aluminium ingots meanwhile can be used to create beverage cans, car spare parts and other everyday objects.
"There is power in collaboration and we know that by joining forces we can have even greater influence over the recycling rate of pods"Richard HowatsonBusiness Unit Manager, Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Starbucks at Home
Help us expand Podback
If you'd like to find out more about how to get involved in Podback, including joining the scheme as a coffee pod brand or as a local authority to increase kerbside collections, the Podback team would love to hear from you.