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Suez and Bracknell Forest Council celebrate recycling trial with bench made of NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto coffee pods

Coffee pod bench

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, alongside partners Bracknell Forest Council and NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, celebrated their 2017 collection trial with a bench made of recycled NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto coffee pods which will be permanently located on Yorktown Road at the bus stop opposite Devon Close in Sandhurst.

Discussions and planning for the trial began at the end of 2016 and the opt-in service was rolled out to Bracknell Forest residents in 2017, running for a six month period. Residents who registered their NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto machines or signed up via the council were given pink bags to store their used coffee pods, which were then collected at the kerbside along with rubbish and mixed recycling.

Nestlé is working towards its ambition to make 100% of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025. NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto pods can be recycled, but developing the infrastructure to make it as easy as possible to recycle remains a key area of focus for the company. The pods have been the subject of a trial in the Bracknell Forest area which allowed residents to recycle their used coffee pods along with their usual recycling collection service.

The coffee pods collected during the trial were sent to TerraCycle for processing, where they were shredded and separated into plastic and metals. Approximately 1.5 tonnes of plastic was collected from 382 households – roughly equivalent to the weight of the average car. A portion of the material collected was used to make a recycled plastic bench that was unveiled on Wednesday, 12 September by Cllr. Andy Blatchford, Mayor of Sandhurst, and representatives from each partner organisation.

Lessons learned from the short kerbside collection trial will help improve subsequent trials and continue progress towards shared recycling goals. For example, water remaining in the pods posed challenges to storing and transporting the materials, leading later trials to implement stronger, double sealed bags for collection.

Kim Shaw, area manager for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said:

“Multi-sector trials like this are an important step towards capturing more materials for recycling and are crucial to meeting our goal of living in a society with no more waste. We are pleased to celebrate the partnership today and to see the coffee pods we collected put to good use back here in Bracknell Forest."

Councillor Dorothy Hayes MBE, Bracknell Forest Council’s executive member for environment said:

“Thank you to all the Bracknell Forest residents who took part in the trial, trials like this are extremely important as they help inform how best to collect and recycle different types of packaging.”

Warren Plaskett, marketing manager at NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto said:

“Our 2025 ambition shows how important the issue of sustainable packaging is for Nestlé and this trial is one of the ways that NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is working to make our pods better for the environment.

“This bench makes for a great, lasting symbol of the success of the project but we now have more work to do. Feedback has been excellent, we know that more than 90% of the residents who took part in the trial would be keen to participate in a permanent scheme and making that a reality will be our next aim working in partnership with both SUEZ and the council.”