Morrisons 21.05.24

In an effort to make coffee pod recycling more accessible for the UK, supermarket Morrisons has announced a nationwide rollout of coffee pod collection points in partnership with Podback, the pod recycling service.

The collection points are due to be established in more than 350 stores nationwide, with the rollout starting in June. 

Customers can already pick up free Podback recycling bags from Morrisons customer service desks. With the launch of the new in-store collection points, customers will be able to drop off their filled bags in Morrisons stores as part of their regular shop. 

Morrisons says that, in 2022, it was the first supermarket to support Podback by offering free coffee pod recycling bags in stores. A trial of in-store collection points was introduced in 29 stores in July 2023. 

Initially planned to run for eight weeks, it was extended due to its popularity with customers, and plans were developed for a national rollout of the service. By the end of March this year, trial stores had collected over 42,300 kgs of pods, –  an average of 37 kg per store each week, equivalent to 2.8 million pods in total. 

Through the Podback scheme, used aluminium and plastic pods are recycled in the UK. The used coffee grounds are treated by anaerobic digestion to produce renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver. 

Zara Safdari, waste and sustainability manager at Morrisons, said: “Coffee pods have continued to grow in popularity over recent years, with many household brands now offering a variety of pods to brew fresh coffee in minutes at home. Picking up Podback bags while doing a supermarket shop and dropping them back, filled, on further shopping trips makes it easy for consumers to recycle their used coffee pods.” 

Earlier this month, Starbucks partnered with Podback to collect used Starbucks At Home coffee pods from drop-off points or at kerbside, recycling them into beverage cans, supermarket crates, and more. Consumers can now fill a bag with used coffee pods at home and take them to one of 6,500 Yodel drop-off points across the UK. 

In March, Keurig Dr Pepper announced its new packaging format for single-serve coffee pods: roasted coffee beans are ground, pressed and then wrapped in a protective plant-based coating, instead of plastic or aluminium. Keurig says that after brewing, the pods can be disposed of like coffee grounds and are expected to be certified compostable - the company is currently working through the certification process. 

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