Morrisons has partnered with Podback to trial the introduction of recycling points for coffee machine pods in 29 of its stores – aiming for an easy and convenient drop-off service.

Consumers are encouraged to collect Podpack recycling bags to fill with their used coffee pods. They are reminded that the bags are colour-coded to represent the separation between aluminium and plastic pods.

Full bags are then returned to a dedicated bins in front of a Morrisons location, where the separate bags will be sent to recycling processing plants. Podpack will convert the aluminium pots into ingots for new products like beverage cans, while the plastic pods will be integrated into building products, crates, and other plastic items.

The used coffee grounds are also set to undergo anaerobic digestion in order to produce biogas and soil improver.

Morrisons is also planning to become a Podback member to recycle its own-brand pods through the Podback scheme. This would contribute towards its claim to have recycled over 10,000 tonnes of own-brand plastic in its stores since 2017.

Natasha Cook, Sustainable Packaging and Plastics manager at Morrisons, said: “We’re excited to be launching this trial with Podback as we look to make it even easier for our customers who want to brew fresh coffee at home to recycle their used coffee pods. Now they can grab a Podback bag, fill it at home and simply drop it off on their next store trip.”

Rick Hindley, executive director at Podback, added: “Morrisons was the first supermarket to become a supporter of Podback, and we’re thrilled that they’re now set to become a member; enabling their own brand pods to be recycled through the service and working with us to further improve access to coffee pod recycling by trialling a new drop-off system.

“This is another exciting step forward towards providing consumers with easy and convenient ways to recycle their used coffee pods. We welcome and encourage other retailers to join Podback and make it even easier for consumers to recycle pods in the future.”

Other organisations have redesigned coffee pods in pursuit of enhanced sustainability. Sainsbury’s is aiming for home recyclability by repackaging its own-brand coffee pod range in aluminium; and Solinatra’s plant-based coffee capsules recently achieved certification for industrial compostability from TÜV Austria.

Morrisons is also a co-owner of a new recycling site for hard-to-recycle soft plastics in Scotland. Operated by Yes Recycling, it aims to repurpose 15,000 tonnes of post-consumer packaging every year when it reaches full capacity.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

The Lidl approach to packaging sustainability

How did Brazil achieve its 100% aluminium can recycling rate – and can it be replicated in the EU?

Experts have their say on the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive revisions

A deep dive into the most important packaging sustainability trends and solution