Morrisons has become the first UK supermarket to introduce recycling points for coffee machine pods. The move is being trialled in 29 stores and is in partnership with Podback, the pod recycling service.
To make coffee pod recycling even more accessible and convenient, Morrisons is trialling a new drop-off service that allows customers to collect their Podback recycling bags, fill them with their used pods, and recycle them in a dedicated bin at the front of the store.
Last year, Morrisons announced it was the first supermarket to support Podback and remains the only one to provide free coffee pod recycling bags for its customers to collect in all its stores. The recycling bags can be filled at home and be taken to one of 6,500 Yodel drop-off points around the UK with postage covered by Podback.
In the last year, it is estimated that 800 million coffee pods were bought in the UK, making it even more important for customers to have an easier route to recycle their pods.*
Morrisons is also set to become a Podback member, meaning Morrisons' own-brand pods can be recycled through the scheme and 24 other pod brands across the coffee sector.
Customers need to use correctly colour-coded bags, one for aluminium pods and one for plastic pods - as pods are separated and sent to different recycling processing plants in the UK.
Through Podback, used aluminium pods are turned into aluminium ingots for new products, such as beverage cans, and the used plastic coffee pods are turned into other plastic items - such as building products and plastic crates. The used coffee grounds also go through anaerobic digestion - to produce biogas and soil improver.
Natasha Cook, Sustainable Packaging and Plastics Manager at Morrisons, said the retailer was excited to launch this trial with Podback as it looked to make it even easier for its 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," said Cook.
Rick Hindley, Executive Director at Podback, said Morrisons was the first supermarket to support Podback.
"We're thrilled that they're now set to become a member, enabling their 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," said Hindley.
Hindley continued that this was another exciting step forward towards providing consumers with easy and convenient ways to recycle their used coffee pods. Podback welcomed and encouraged other retailers to join the business and make it even easier for consumers to recycle pods in the future.
Morrisons stores across the UK offer soft plastic, battery and inkjet recycling facilities. Since 2017, Morrisons has reduced its brand plastic packaging in its 499 stores by over 10,000 tonnes a year.