Morrisons launches pilot for in-store coffee pod recycling

Morrisons has launched a new pilot in collaboration with Podback to introduce recycling points for coffee machine pods in stores, in a bid to achieve its target of recycling 70% of plastic packaging by 2025.

Morrisons launches pilot for in-store coffee pod recycling

Approximately 800 million coffee pods were purchased in the UK last year

Customers will have the option to gather Podback recycling bags, fill them with their used pods, and then recycle the pods in a designated bin positioned at the store’s entrance.

Consumers will be required to use colour-coded bags—one for aluminium pods and another for plastic pods. These pods will then be separated and sent to distinct recycling processing plants within the UK.

The trial will roll out in 29 stores this month including Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, Reading, Shefford, Watford, and Wokingham, among others.

Morrisons’ sustainable packaging and plastics manager Natasha Cook 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.”

Morrisons is now a member of Podback, a recycling scheme for coffee pods launched in 2020, enabling the recycling of its own-brand pods and 24 other pod brands in the coffee sector.

Last year, Morrisons launched a programme to offer free coffee pod recycling bags to its customers in all stores, which can be filled at home and taken to any of the 6,500 Yodel drop-off points in the UK, with postage covered by Podback.

Podback converts used aluminium pods into ingots for new products like beverage cans, and plastic coffee pods are recycled into items such as building products and plastic crates. Additionally, the used coffee grounds undergo anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and soil improver.

Podback’s executive director Rick Hindley said: “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.”

According to an analysis from Kantar Worldpanel, a data consulting company, approximately 800 million coffee pods were purchased in the UK last year.

Morrisons has pledged to making 100% of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025, achieving a 50% reduction in primary plastic packaging for its own-brand products compared to 2017 by 2025, and maintaining an average of 30% recycled content in its plastic packaging by the same year.

Since 2017, Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging in its 499 stores by more than 10,000 tonnes annually.

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