Cross-industry coffee pod recycling scheme goes live across the UK

Following the announcement of Podback in 2020, from today households across the UK can recycle their coffee pods using one simple and easy recycling scheme.

Podback is a first of its kind recycling programme for coffee pods set up by the two biggest players in the UK coffee industry, Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK, with administration of the scheme by Ecosurety.

Consumers of coffee brands including Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto,  Tassimo and L’OR can now recycle their used coffee pods in two simple ways:

  • Collect+ delivered by Yodel: Consumers will be able to take their used coffee pods to their nearest drop-off point. There are thousands of drop-off points in local stores across the UK, open seven days a week. Consumers can order recycling bags directly from any of the participating Podback brands online and will also be available in supermarkets soon.
  • Kerbside collection: Over 200,000 people living across Cheltenham Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council will be able to sign up to use kerbside recycling for their coffee pods. Used pods will be collected alongside other household waste and recycling from 10 May. Consumers can check whether their area is eligible, how each council will run the collection service, and order recycling bags on the via podback.org

Ambition to expand kerbside collection

It is known that kerbside is a mechanism that people want – with research showing that nine in 10 would like to be able to recycle their coffee pods alongside their household recycling.* With this in mind, Podback has the ambition to expand kerbside collection to as many local areas as possible across the UK so that even more people can benefit from this service. In the short term, Chichester District Council will begin trialling kerbside collections over the next two months.

Podback is also calling for all brands and retailers of aluminium and plastic pods to join the initiative so consumers can use one simple scheme for all their pods. The programme continues to be in discussions with major retailers to facilitate a ‘handover at home’ option, meaning that consumers can have their used coffee pods collected for recycling when they have their groceries delivered.

After being collected for recycling, the plastic and aluminium pods are processed separately to produce plastic pellets and aluminium ingots. The plastic pellets will be used by manufacturers to produce high grade plastic items, like garden furniture, while the aluminium ingots can create beverage cans, car spare parts and other everyday objects. The coffee grounds will go through anaerobic digestion, producing both soil improver and biogas.

A significant undertaking 

James Piper, Chief Innovation Officer at Ecosurety commented “It has been a significant undertaking to help launch this uniquely cross-industry initiative to recycle coffee pods and we applaud the voluntary action of major brands to help make this a reality. We are particularly thrilled that consumers across the UK can take advantage of Podback, including kerbside collection in two initial areas.”

“Podback continues to liaise with more brands, retailers and local authorities to broaden the scheme as much as possible – with the aim to ultimately to make it as easy as possible for a consumer to recycle any coffee pod.”

Guillaume Chesneau, Managing Director, Nespresso UK and Ireland, Board Director of Podback, commented “For over ten years, our mission has been to ensure that every single pod that customers enjoy will be recycled. Today marks a significant step towards this ambition and joining forces with our industry partners to deliver kerbside collection will make recycling pods much simpler and easier for customers.”

“We hope local authorities and retailers up and down the UK will join us on this ambitious journey to make this a future reality.”

Simple and convenient routes to recycle

Toby Bevans, Marketing Director, JDE UK and Ireland, Board Director of Podback, commented “Podback’s aim is for every pod enjoyed to be easily recycled. We’re doing this by providing simple and convenient routes for people to recycle their pods."

"To continue expanding this, we want even more brands, retailers and local authorities to get involved to ensure that it is easier for everyone.”

Richard Howatson, Business Unit Manager, Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Starbucks at Home commented “It’s fantastic to have our first local authority partners on board – we’re looking forward to expanding even further over the coming months, making pod coffee more sustainable and kerbside collections of pods a reality for more households across the country."

"In the meantime, we encourage all consumers to use the scheme and for other brands and retailers to join Podback.”



Please visit Podback.org to find out more information about the scheme.

*The polling was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Podback, between 9-11 September 2020. Total sample size was 4,323 adults.

Ben Luger

Marketing projects specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.

Written by Ben Luger Published 16/04/2021 Topics Ecosurety
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