The uptake in coffee pod consumption has come at the cost of the environment. Coffee pods can very rarely be recycled, due to their complex construction and natural residue often left behind in the pod after brewing coffee. These qualities make the recycling of pods almost impossible for local authorities.
However, coffee pods recycling is about to change. This month, the cross-industry coffee pod recycling scheme, Podback, went live across the UK. But what is Podback and what are its goals?
What is Podback?
Consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious with each passing day. Everyone wants to do the right thing by the environment and recycle their coffee pods, however, oftentimes aren't able to.
That’s why the owners of the UK’s three biggest coffee pod brands have joined forces to establish a nationwide recycling scheme for single-serve pods.
The recycling scheme, known as Podback, officially launched this month, April 2021. Created by Nestle and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, the scheme aims to make recycling of coffee pods convenient and accessible for all, ensuring the reduction of coffee pods making it to landfill.
How to recycle with Podback
From April 2021, consumers can recycle their Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and L’OR coffee pods in two simpler ways, with a third currently in development:
Collect+. There are more than 6,500 Collect+ drop-off points in local stores. Customers can take used pods to these spots, which include newsagents, petrol stations and shopping centres, where they'll be dealt with by Yodel.
Kerbside collection. The Podback group is aiming to make recycling easier by having coffee pods collected alongside regular household waste and recycling. The scheme needs cooperation from local councils in order to make this possible, with a handful of local councils signing on with the scheme already. We can only hope others follow suit.
'Handover at home'. The Podback organisers are in discussions with major retailers, so consumers will potentially be able to hand over their used pods every time they have groceries delivered.
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.
We’re told a number of brands have already expressed an interest in joining the scheme, all wanting to do their bit to facilitate the safe recycling of their coffee pods.
An important first step
Podback is a brilliant first step in the fight against landfill waste. As it's a nationwide effort, and the scheme has buy-in from some of the largest retailers of coffee pods, with further brands set to join, Podback could be a one-size-fits all solution to the problem of coffee pod waste in the UK.