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Starbucks partners with coffee pod recycling scheme

Starbucks Coffee Company has become the latest high street coffeehouse chain to partner with the coffee pod recycling scheme, Podback. In support of its on-going commitment to sustainability, Starbucks UK is now offering customers of Starbucks’ At Home range a convenient option to pick up Podback’s free drop off recycling bags across all of its 1250 UK coffee shops.


The bags can be filled with used coffee pods at home, then taken to one of 6500 Yodel drop off points around the UK. All postage back to Podback is free of charge. The organisation also offers kerbside collection of pods, as part of household waste and recycling services, to 1.5 million households in 21 UK local authorities.


Starbucks At Home range was launched in 2019 offering coffee lovers more opportunities to conveniently enjoy its coffee at home with wide availability in grocery stores and online retailers.  


Coffee pods in the Starbucks by Nespresso and Starbucks by Nescafe Dolce Gusto ranges have been accepted for recycling through Podback since the scheme launched in April 2021. This expansion into the coffee giant’s UK retail operation builds on the two organisations’ existing partnership and shared commitment to developing more sustainable practices. 


In the last year, an estimated 800 million coffee pods were purchased in the UK, highlighting the growing need for customers to have a more accessible recycling option for their pods. 


Jacqui Wetherly, UK director of sustainability at Starbucks UK, said: ‘With Starbucks UK customers already using Podback to recycle our pods at home, we are delighted to offer them an easier way to pick up their bags from our outlets. We are committed to our continued journey of reducing the environmental impact of all of our coffee products, from the beans to the milks we use and the way it is served. This partnership is another step towards making this possible.’


Rick Hindley, executive director at Podback, said: ‘Partnering with one of the world’s best known coffee brands is a sign of the considerable progress that Podback has made towards establishing a convenient and simple way for people to recycle used pods. Starbucks’ support makes it even easier for coffee pod users to start recycling, as they can now pick up a Podback bag at any of Starbucks’ coffee shops across the UK.’


All coffee pods collected through by Podback are recycled in the UK at reprocessing partners. Used aluminium pods are sent to manufacture new products such as beverage cans and used plastic coffee pods are turned into other items such as supermarket crates and building products. The used coffee grounds go through anaerobic digestion to produce a combination of biogas and soil improver.



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