We are working with Podback to provide a new free recycling service to help you recycle your pods at home.
Leaflets will be delivered to all households from Monday 2 October 2023 and collections will start from Monday 16 October 2023.
Podback is a nationwide, not-for-profit, coffee pod recycling service created by the biggest names in coffee pod systems, Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, to give people who enjoy the quality and taste of coffee pods simple and easy ways to recycle them.
How to recycle your pods
It’s easy to start recycling your pods, simply follow the steps below:
- Sign up and order your free recycling bags on the Podback website.
- Podback will send you two rolls of bags for recycling your aluminium or plastic coffee pods, along with an instruction leaflet. Each roll contains 13 bags and are delivered by Royal Mail, arriving within 7 to 10 working days.
- If you use NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto pods, you will also receive a storage caddy as these pods tend to hold more liquid. The caddy enables excess liquid to drain more easily and help users to store pods between collections.
- Once you have your bags, simply follow the instructions and place the sealed bag on the lid of your recycling trolley by 6:30am on your normal collection day.
- When you need to top up your supply of bags log into your account and reorder.
- If you live in a block of flats with a communal bin collection, you can use the Podback Drop Off service, provided by Yodel. Simply follow the online instructions when you sign up.
Sign up on the Podback website
Types of pods that can be recycled
Using Podback recycling bags, aluminium and plastic pods can be recycled for:
- hot chocolate
Aluminium and plastic pods from Podback participating brands can be recycled. Together these brands represent over 80% of the UK market. Podback’s ambition is to expand the programme to include all coffee pod brands using aluminium or plastic pods in the UK.
If your brand is not currently a member, why not contact them and suggest they get involved.
There are two different bags, white for aluminium pods and green for plastic pods. The different coloured bags make it easy for the collection team to identify the types of pods and put them in the correct container at the depot ready for reprocessing.
White bag for aluminium pods
Green bag for plastic pods
What happens to the pods once collected
The pods you recycle with Podback are taken to specialist aluminium and plastics reprocessing plants in the UK. They don’t have to travel far to be transformed into something new.
Aluminium pods are reprocessed in Cheshire. Plastic pods are reprocessed in Yorkshire.
They are shredded to remove the coffee grounds, then transformed into new products including:
- beverage cans
- car components
- plastic garden furniture
- building products
The coffee grounds are processed by anaerobic digestion, which creates renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.
How your coffee pods are recycled video
Watch Podback's video on YouTube:
Frequently asked questions about Podback
More frequently asked questions are also available at Podback: Frequently asked questions.
1. How many Podback recycling bags can I get collected?
We can collect as many full bags as you have. Make sure you fill your bags up to the dotted line as instructed.
If you run out of bags, you can reorder by logging into your account on the Podback website.
2. What happens if I have an assisted collection?
If you have an assisted collection, pods will be collected from your usual recycling collection point.
3. Can I use any type of bag to return my used pods at the kerbside?
No. To take part in the Podback kerbside recycling service you must use the free recycling bags provided by Podback.
The Podback bags help our recycling crews identify the bags easily. It also helps them to be sorted for reprocessing more effectively.
4. I have received a Podback ‘wrong bag’ sticker, what do I do?
Please take the bag back inside to your property, sign up for the free Podback service and order Podback recycling bags.
Podback will send you two rolls of bags for recycling your aluminium or plastic coffee pods. There are 13 recycling bags per roll, typically six months supply.
Once received, fill your bags and follow the instructions.
5. Can I put aluminium and plastic pods in the same bag?
No, the different types of pods must be kept separate so they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility.
If you use aluminium and plastic pods, you can request both types of bags when you create your online Podback account. If you change the type of pod you use, you will be able to update this on your account.
Please note you will need to wait 24 hours after creating your new account before updating your pod preferences.
6. Can I include the packaging my pods came in inside the recycling bags?
No, please do not place the packaging of your pods inside the recycling bags.
Find out how you can recycle the packaging using your recycling trolley.
7. Do I need to remove the used coffee grounds before putting them into the recycling bag?
No, you can put the whole pod straight into the recycling bag.
The coffee grounds are removed from the pods as part of the recycling process. It is then treated by anaerobic digestion which creates renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.
Please drain any remaining liquid from your used pods before putting them in your recycling bag.
Top tips for used coffee grounds that may be left over in your machine:
- place your used coffee grounds in a little pot and store in your fridge to help capture unwelcome odours and smells
- feed hungry plants by either adding to your compost heap or placing on top of the soil, which helps keep those pesky little slugs, snails and ants at bay
8. My bags haven’t been collected. How do I arrange for a missed pod collection?
If your pods have not been collected, please take them back inside your property and put them out again on your next scheduled collection.
If you have had multiple missed collections please contact us.
Please make sure your bags only contain pods and are not filled with liquids. It may be that the crew had to leave the bags as they contained the wrong materials.
If the bags do contain the wrong materials or lots of liquid, please remove these before putting them out for collection.
9. I live in a flat or property with shared bins, can I still participate?
Yes. If you live in a block of flats with a communal bin collection, or a property which uses shared bins and cannot access a kerbside service, you can use the Podback Drop Off service, provided by Yodel.
To find out more, and how to get your free recycling bags for this service, please visit the Podback website.
10. Can I take my pods to a Recycling Centre?
No. You can only recycle your pods through our kerbside collection service.
11. How many used pods will fit into the recycling bags?
The number of pods will depend on the brand of pods you use. Follow the instructions on the bag and fill it to the dotted line.
Please make sure you’ve drained any liquid.
12. Why do I need a caddy for the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto pods?
These pods tend to hold more liquid. The caddy enables excess liquid to drain more easily and help users to store pods between collections. Full instructions on how to use your caddy are provided when you create your online Podback account.
Simply transfer the pods to the Podback kerbside recycling bag when they are ready for collection.
13. Will you replace my NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto caddy if it’s broken?
Yes. Please contact Podback directly and they will arrange to send you a replacement caddy.
14. Why are there different ways to return your coffee pods for recycling?
The most convenient way for people to recycle is by using their local authority recycling service, and Podback’s priority is to work with councils across the UK to enable them to collect pods alongside other materials.
Podback is working with us to make it easier to collect pods at the kerbside as part of our household waste and recycling services.
Please always use the Podback recycling bags.
Podback drop off bags
If you buy a new machine this may contain a Podback bag.
This has been designed for the drop off service available through Yodel.
As a one-off collection, we will accept drop off bags at the kerbside, but we ask you to sign up for the free service to receive a supply of bags for recycling your pods in the future.
Alternatively, you could give the drop off bag to a friend or family member who isn't able to use a kerbside recycling service.
15. Who pays for the Podback recycling service?
Podback is a not-for-profit service, funded by the coffee pod brands. All funding for the new coffee pod collection services is provided by Podback.
It is an excellent way for us to expand our recycling service at no additional cost to residents.
16. Are the bags recycled as part of the recycling process?
The recycling bags supplied by Podback for kerbside recycling are made of recycled material and are fully recyclable.
They are baled by the reprocessor and sent to a facility in Yorkshire which specialises in recycling flexible plastics, such as food wrappers and films. The facility produces plastic pellets which are used in a wide range of manufacturing industries.
17. What is the carbon impact of the Podback scheme?
The carbon footprint of the service is very important to us. We are working with Podback and partners to make sure the service is as efficient as possible.
Coffee pods have traditionally been difficult to recycle through existing collection services due to their size, weight and wet coffee grounds.
The Podback service helps us divert coffee grounds and valuable resources from landfill or energy from waste.
18. What do I do if I no longer require the Podback service?
You can cancel the Podback service through your online account.