These cannot be recycled at home. They are increasingly made solely from aluminium but the coffee grounds inside are difficult to extract. However, some types/brands of coffee pods (and other difficult-to-recycle items) are collected by:
- TerraCycle (opens in a new window) who recycle them to create new products such as plastic baby bibs, notebook covers and park benches.
- Collect+ (delivered by Yodel): order recycling bags directly from any of the participating Podback brands (opens in a new window) online or supermarkets. Then take used coffee pods to your nearest drop-off point (opens in a new window).
Compostable coffee pods
Some manufacturers make compostable plastic coffee pods. They are made from renewable materials such as vegetable starch and soy protein. Compostable plastic should be put into your general waste and not your food waste or garden waste.
In north London, food waste is processed in anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities. Mixed food and garden waste goes to in-vessel composting (IVC) facilities. All packaging (compostable liners / Vegware / plastic bags) is removed from food and garden waste by ‘de-packaging’ machinery and disposed of. This has to be done because non-compostable items are often put into the food/garden waste when they shouldn’t be, causing contamination. The de-packaging machinery we use is not currently able to distinguish between compostable and non-compostable packaging when removing contaminants.
However, in order for our food waste recycler to be able to accept them, they need to be certified to composting standards BS EN 13432 (opens in a new window). You can contact the manufacturer to find out whether their product meets this standard, or contact us (opens in a new window) and we may be able to confirm.
Alternatively, the pods can go in your general waste.