UK – Swiss multinational food and drink processing company Nestlé and JDE Peet’s ( the world’s largest pure-play coffee and tea group by revenue) have joined forces to launch a coffee pod recycling programme in the UK.

The programme dubbed Podback, is slated for launch in early 2021 and is expected to give consumers more options to recycle their coffee pods.

Following collection, the pods will be taken to re-processors in the UK to separate the packaging from the used coffee grounds before being recycled into a range of everyday products.

“Our ambition is to create a powerful end-to-end recycling solution, available to all, and Podback demonstrates our commitment towards achieving this important goal,” said Guillaume Chesneau, managing director of Nespresso UK and Ireland, and board director of Podback.

The programme which claims to be the UK’s first cross-industry collaboration of its kind within the coffee sector will initially cover brands such as Nespresso, Nescafé, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo.

Podback said that there will be future expansion plans to cover all coffee brands that use plastic or aluminium pods in the UK.

Podback is currently in discussion with several local authorities to have collections operational at launch.

So far Exeter City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council are reported to have confirmed partnership with podback in the coffee pod recycling scheme.

The UK consumes more than 340 million coffee capsules a year.

Traditional aluminium capsules contain a fabric filter which can be difficult to separate and therefore hinders the recycling processes.

Plastic pods are equally complex with two or three layers of material.

However, many manufacturers and brands have simplified packaging to improve recyclability.

Nespresso, for example, has committed to using only sustainably sourced aluminium in its coffee capsules.

A recent poll conducted by YouGov poll revealed that more than a third of UK coffee pod drinkers are unaware that pods can be recycled.

Meanwhile, nine in ten said they would like to be able to recycle the pods alongside their household recycling, which the Podback programme would enable.

Under the programme, consumers will have the option of recycling their pods through Collect+, kerbside collection, and a retailer ‘handover at home’ option, which means consumers can have their pods collected when their groceries are delivered.

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