We have been commissioned to support the roll-out of a new nationwide recycling scheme supported by Nestle and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK to collect single-use coffee pods.

The new scheme, Podback, will launch in early 2021 and sees the two companies, which own a number of leading coffee pods brands such as Nespresso, Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, come together in a first-of-its-kind industry collaboration to increase the amount of coffee pods collected for recycling at the kerbside.

Podback, which has been set up as a not-for-profit organisation, will be offering three ways for residents to return their used coffee pods for recycling:

  • Drop off at their nearest collect + drop-off point, of which there are more than 6,500 across the UK.
  • Collection alongside household waste and recycling services, in areas where the local authority participates.
  • A ‘handover at home’ option, still in development with retailers, which would allow residents to return their used pods when they have groceries delivered to their home.

Once collected, the coffee pods will be taken to UK-based reprocessors where the plastic or aluminium will be separated from the used coffee grounds so that it can be recycled into new products. The leftover coffee grounds will be treated through a process of anaerobic digestion, which produces both fertiliser and biogas.

The scheme will initially cover brands owned by Nestle and Jacob Douwe Roberts UK but the aim is to extend this to all companies and brands that sell plastic or aluminium coffee pods in the UK.

Eunomia has been helping to design the kerbside collection service, and is now working to sign local authorities up to the scheme. Podback will fund local authorities to meet the costs they incur in setting up and running the kerbside collection service, based on an individually tailored business case.

Local authorities interested in participating in the scheme should contact Freya Rose.