Morrisons announces partnership with Podback

Morrisons has become the first supermarket to offer its customers a way to recycle coffee pods through a partnership with the recycling scheme Podback.

Over the coming weeks, Morrisons customers will be able to pick up free Podback Collect+ recycling bags from its customer service desks.

The Podback bags can be filled with used coffee pods at home, then taken to one of 6,500 Collect+ delivered by Yodel drop off points around the UK. All postage back to Podback is free of charge.

Through the Podback scheme, used aluminium pods are turned into aluminium ingots for new products – such as beverage cans, and used plastic coffee pods are turned into other plastic items – such as furniture. 

The used coffee grounds also go through anaerobic digestion – to produce a combination of biogas and soil improver.

Podback is the first coffee pod recycling scheme of its kind in the UK, and was set up by Nestle and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK. Current participating brands include Nespresso, Tassimo, L’OR, Nescafé Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Cru Kafe, Artisan Coffee Co, Allpress Espresso, Colonna Coffee and Café Palmieri by Jomad Coffee.

Sales of coffee pods have increased by 32% from pre-pandemic levels, as more people have worked from home. 

It is estimated that 1.2bn pods were bought in the UK in 2021, making Podback even more important as an easier route for customers to recycle their pods*.  

Rick Hindley, Executive Director at Podback, said: “Podback provides consumers all over the UK with an easy way to recycle their coffee pods, no matter what brand they are buying. 

“Morrisons is the first retailer to become a supporter of the Podback scheme, as well as provide bags in store. This is a great step forward and progress towards ensuring recycling coffee pods becomes second nature. 

“Our goal is to ensure every pod enjoyed is recycled and working with retailers, like Morrisons, is crucial to ensuring the scheme is convenient and simple. We welcome other retailers to join to make it even easier for consumers to recycle pods in the future.”

Lorraine Wheeler, Environmental Packaging Manager at Morrisons, said: “Many of our customers want to brew fresh coffee at home using a coffee pod. But to date, coffee pod recycling has been confusing for consumers, with several different schemes by multiple brands. Podback offers an easy, simple scheme for all of our customers.”  

The partnership with Podback is part of a wide ranging waste reduction initiative. Since 2017 Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging in its 497 stores by over 8,000 tonnes a year and was the first supermarket to ditch plastic ‘bags for life’ in favour of paper bags, to use traditional paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables instead of plastic, and to introduce a refillable container service on its fish, meat and deli counters to reduce single-use packaging.

The move marks a key step for Podback, which recently made its recycling bags available online via Coffee Supplies Direct.

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