UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s partners with coffee pod manufacturer Dualit and not-for-profit company On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) to produce recyclable aluminium coffee pods. The company will be the first retailer to offer their own aluminium pods that are labelled as recyclable as of the 12th of September.

It was commonly understood that unprepared aluminium pods were too small to correctly process at recycling plants during sorting, and that specialist recycling centres were needed.

This translated into a message that aluminium coffee pods are not recyclable. Sainsbury’s wants to challenge that perception and says that, when correctly prepared, regular waste management technology can detect and recycle many of these pods.

Director of product and innovation at Sainsbury’s Claire Hughes stated: 

We decided to challenge the notion that aluminium coffee pods can’t be recycled and with consumers more concerned about the planet than ever before… Whilst we might be the first retailer to label our own brand coffee pods as recyclable, it’s important to understand that many aluminium pods are in fact recyclable.

We hope others follow suit and change their packaging to raise awareness and encourage recycling.

The food giant has been pushing its new brand mission of ‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’ since the start of the year, encouraging its customers to reduce recycling and make sustainable choices.

Sainsbury’s has also pledged to reduce 50% plastic packaging of their own brand products as well as branded ones by 2025 and introduced in-store recycling points in over 500 outlets. Hughes said:

We’re always looking for new ways to help our customers live more sustainably at home, and key to that is making sure any changes are small and easy to implement.

The labels on these recyclable aluminium pods highlight the significance of emptying and rinsing them first before recycling, which can easily be done with a teaspoon. Doing this is essential as clean aluminium can be sorted and recycled more conveniently. 

From November, the supermarket chain will also be offering Dualit’s EcoPress device, which removes coffee grinds from the pods. This provides an easier way for customers to separate and remove the coffee, leaving a clean shell that is ready to recycle.

Sainsbury’s says this marks a step towards the right direction in their new brand mission by offering customers a way to practice making sustainable choices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *