Sainsbury’s has partnered with coffee pod maker Dualit and On-Pack Recycling Label Ltd (OPRL Ltd) to prove that aluminum coffee pods can be recycled at home.
Until now, it was widely believed that aluminum coffee pods were too small to be collected for recycling when sorting items.
Sainsbury’s has discovered that waste management companies have facilities capable of capturing and recycling these small items.
To help educate consumers on how to recycle their coffee pods, Sainsbury’s became the first UK retailer to label its own brand aluminum coffee pods as recyclable. This label will specify the importance of emptying the pod and rinsing it before placing it in the recycling bin, so that the clean aluminum can be sorted and recycled.
From November, customers will be able to purchase a Dualit EcoPress at their local Sainsbury’s store or online. The appliance is a simple way to ensure that coffee is separated and removed from the foil, making it ready for recycling. While it’s not vital and customers can do it on their own with a teaspoon, the EcoPress makes things faster and easier, encouraging more people to recycle.
Currently, customers are advised to recycle coffee pods through specialized collection systems which are not always practical. After the coffee is separated, users can put the leftover coffee in household compost bins, food waste bins, or their garden – using small amounts around plants.
Claire Hughes, Director of Product and Innovation at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are always looking for new ways to help our customers live more sustainably at home, and the key to that is to ensure all changes are small and easy to implement.
“That’s why we decided to challenge the idea that aluminum coffee pods can’t be recycled and with consumers more planet-conscious than ever, it felt like a natural place to look.
“While we may be the first retailer to label our own brand coffee pods as recyclable, it’s important to understand that many aluminum pods are actually recyclable. We hope others will follow suit and change their packaging to raise awareness and encourage recycling. “
Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s launched its new brand mission “Helping Everyone Eat Better”, reflecting its mission to encourage and empower customers to make positive change for their health and the planet too.
Sainsbury’s was the first major UK retailer to make a significant commitment to reduce plastic packaging for branded and private label products by 50% by 2025. In 2021, it launched its first sachets of own-brand herbal tea, as well as the introduction of in-store recycling points in 520 stores, facilitating the recycling of flexible plastics.
Sainsbury’s has also been announced as the main supermarket partner for the United Nations international climate change conference, COP26, to be held in November.
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