December 22, 2022

Aldi is set to become the first supermarket in the UK to become a member of the Podback coffee pod recycling scheme. As part of the deal, the supermarket will introduce its own-label pods into the scheme, claimed to be an industry first, while also promoting the free recycling service to shoppers in over 980 stores.

From early next year, Aldi customers can visit the Podback website to either order recycling bags, which can be filled and taken to one of 6,500 Collect+ drop off points, or register for kerbside collections if they live in a participating local authority area.

Richard Gorman, plastics and packaging director at Aldi, said: “It’s important to us that we help customers do the right thing once our hot drink pods have been used, and we look forward to seeing how this partnership progresses.”

Will other supermarkets come aboard?

The Podback scheme launched last year and is the first such recycling service of its kind in the UK. It was set up by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts and membership has, so far, grown to include 16 brands from across the coffee sector. Rick Hindley, executive director at Podback, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aldi. This marks a key milestone for the programme and we hope other retailers will follow Aldi’s lead.”

Pods recycled through the scheme are reprocessed within the UK. The recycled aluminium is used in the manufacture of beverage cans and car components, while recycled plastic coffee pods go into items such as furniture, industrial packaging and building products. The used coffee grounds are not wasted either; they go through anaerobic digestion to produce a combination of biogas and soil improver.

Aldi claims to be one of the market leaders in own-label coffee pods, and also sells branded products in its ‘Specialbuys’ selection. The grocery retailer estimates that by using the new service, customers could help to recycle up to 268 tonnes of plastic and 20 tonnes of aluminium from Aldi own-label coffee each year.

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