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Pods and Parcels: Nespresso and Royal Mail Form Recycling Partnership

Posted on: 24/10/2023

person throwing away coffee pods into red bin with overlayed text

Nespresso has partnered with Royal Mail to set up and promote a home collection scheme for used coffee pods - here’s how it came about.

‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ has become something of a buzz phrase with those who are concerned about packaging recycling. This is the principle that manufacturers of products should take some responsibility for what happens to their product packaging further down the line.

Waste Packaging Legislation

Some firms have become subject to some regulation regarding this. Here in the UK, a Plastic Tax has been introduced requiring manufacturers who do not meet a threshold requirement of recyclable plastic in their packaging to pay a levy of just over £200 per tonne. And larger companies are now required to keep track of how much packaging waste they are producing with a view to billing them for improving recycling facilities sometime in the future - although the precise date keeps getting pushed back.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Companies with an eye on how they are viewed ethically by their customers are keen to be seen doing the right things. The wrong optics regarding recycling can be very damaging to a brand amongst consumers who care for the environment. If an organisation seems not to care what happens to its branded packaging once it has been sold to a retailer, then sales may fall within a desirable green demographic of young environmentally-conscious people with disposable income.

The Problem with Pods

Nespresso is a leading manufacturer of coffee machines and the convenient coffee pods that make producing barista-quality coffee in your home a matter of pushing a button. However, coffee lovers soon find themselves with a proliferation of used pods that due to their composite nature (part plastic, part aluminium) cannot be recycled in your usual kerbside collection.

A Possible Solution

Royal Mail now offers a service to collect the used coffee pods (packaged up and labelled) from people’s homes. Alternatively, they can be dropped off at any of 14,000 Royal Mail collection points. If you don’t have a printer at home, Royal Mail will even print off and deliver your label.

There is no current extended producer responsibility for coffee pods - but Nespresso can see which way the wind is blowing and they are making sure they are well-prepared ahead of the storm.

At WT Skips we have a long experience of recycling everything that can possibly be recycled, and we don’t want to see anything going into landfill if it can possibly be reused, repurposed or recycled. We celebrate the efforts of all companies that try to ensure that their product’s packaging is not finishing its life cycle buried underground.

If you have a large amount of waste that you need collecting - get in touch. Using our services means you can guarantee that all of your waste will be disposed of legally and responsibly. To arrange delivery of a skip, use our online form or give us a call on 01493 668118.