New coffee pod recycling scheme gives materials a second life

Coffee lovers in Gloucester are now able to recycle their coffee pods helping to create renewable energy (biogas) and transforming used pods into new products.

Gloucester City Council is working in partnership with Podback, a nationwide, not-for-profit recycling scheme created by the makers of coffee pod systems, NESCAFE Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and Nespresso.

The new free coffee pod recycling service launched this week sees pods sent to specialist recycling plants in the UK.

The plastic and aluminium will be used to create new products, including packaging, car components and building products while the coffee grounds will be used to create renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.

Residents can recycle both plastic and aluminium coffee pods as part of the initiative.

To take part they need to sign up for the service on the Podback website and will be sent a free pack of recycling bags (26 bags or six months’ supply) along with instructions on how to use the service. 

The bags will then be collected as part of the weekly kerbside recycling service, starting from June 12.

Residents who live in flats can take part using the Podback Drop Off service.

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “This is a fantastic scheme and supports one of our key aims in helping to address climate change and honouring our commitment to future generations. It will reduce waste and boost recycling and we encourage residents to sign up so that they can enjoy their coffee knowing their pods can be recycled.”

Podback Executive Director Rick Hindley says: “We know that the most convenient way for people to recycle their coffee pods is as part of their council’s regular service, so we are excited to be working with Gloucester City Council to make that happen.  Recycling with Podback means tonnes of used pods will be removed from the waste stream, and the materials will be recycled in the UK”.

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Aluminium pods are reprocessed at Tandom Metallurgical Group Ltd., near Stoke-on-Trent. Plastic pods are reprocessed by Bright Green Plastics in West Yorkshire.

The coffee grounds are processed by local anaerobic digestion facilities which produces renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.