Image Credit: Jisu Han
There is nothing quite like a good cup of coffee, and in the UK we now drink approximately 98 million cups of coffee per day, according to the British Coffee Association. And if you like good quality coffee you may have joined the thousands of people in the UK have bought a coffee pod machine.
But once you have enjoyed that cup of Joe, what do you do with the used coffee pod?
Most coffee pods are made from plastic or a combination of aluminium and plastic, and of course they contain the used coffee grounds as well. This means that you can’t just put them into your recycling bin, even if you live in an area where aluminium is collected as part of your household recycling collection.
To make recycling these single use pods and capsules as easy as possible, the biggest names in coffee pod systems, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, NESPRESSO® and Tassimo have come together to create a scheme called Podback.
Along with more of the UK’s most popular coffee brands including Starbucks, L’Or and Café Palmieri they have put together a scheme to make recycling these pods as simple and easy as possible. Here is what you have to do.
Visit the Podback website to discover what schemes are available in your area – in some areas you can order a coffee pod recycling bag, which may be collected with your domestic recycling, or you may be able to drop them off at a local collection point such as a supermarket.
In other areas, they may accept them at your local household recycling centre.
If neither of these options is open to you, you can drop them off at a Collect+ drop-off point.
Used Nespresso coffee pods can also be dropped off at a Nespresso Boutique store.
Unfortunately, your coffee pod addiction is pretty bad for the environment, even if you recycle your pods using the Podback scheme. The amount of energy required to make each pod, and then the energy required to take it apart and recycle it again is somewhat more than pouring hot water on a spoonful of coffee. So what other options are there?
Image Credit: Bundo Kim
The short answer is, get rid of your coffee pod machine, but if you can’t bear to do that, make sure that you recycle every single pod that you use through the Podback scheme.
Better options are:-
If you are wondering about filter coffee, the answer is, it depends. If you have a filter coffee machine that you leave running all day, this is probably no better or could even be worse than coffee pods. However if you make it using a filter cone and recycle your grounds and filter paper (or use a reusable filter) this would be another more environmentally friendly way to make a good cup of coffee.
So to sum up, yes all your coffee pods and capsules can be recycled. It may require a little extra effort on your part to keep them and drop them off at a collection point, but if you love the taste of the coffee that your coffee pod machine gives you, this is the most environmentally friendly way to carry on enjoying it.