Morrisons becomes first UK supermarket to introduce coffee pod recycling points
Published:26 July 2023

- The return bins from coffee pod recycling scheme ‘Podback’ launch in 29 stores this month –
-  Used aluminium and plastic pods are turned into new products such as drinks cans, plastic crates and garden furniture - 

Morrisons has become the first UK supermarket to introduce recycling points for coffee machine pods. The move which is being trialled in 29 stores is in partnership with Podback, the pod recycling service. 

In an effort to make coffee pod recycling even easier and convenient, Morrisons is trialling a new drop-off service that allows customers to collect their Podback recycling bags, fill with their used pods, and recycle in a dedicated bin located 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, along with 24 other pod brands across the coffee sector. 

Customers need to use correctly colour coded bags – one for aluminium pods 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: “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, said: “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.”

Morrisons stores across the UK currently offer soft plastic, battery and inkjet recycling facilities. Since 2017 Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging in its 499 stores by over 10,000 tonnes a year.

The following Morrisons stores now offer Podback drop off points with more stores to follow:

AylesburyMelton Mowbray
BanburyMilton Keynes
BasingstokeNorthampton – Kettering Road
BedfordNorthampton – Victoria Promenade
CartertonSt Albans
High WycombeWelwyn Garden City
Houghton RegisWoking
Leighton Buzzard 

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* 800M Pods were bought in the UK in the last year (Source: Kantar WPO | 52W | Volume (Cups) | W/E 11.06.23)