News in brief | Pret-A-Manger joins the Podback program to recycle coffee pods at home

Pret-A-Manger has become the first take-out food retailer to join Podback, the national coffee pod recycling service, as a member of the program.

Customers will now be able to recycle their Pret-A-Manger aluminum coffee pods at home by dropping off the return parcels at Collect+ or curbside collection points in certain areas of the UK. The Collect+ recycling bags needed for the return program will be available in Pret’s stores later this year.

In July 2021, Pret-A-Manger launched two aluminum coffee pod blends, which are now recyclable through the Podback program.

Guy Meakin, UK Managing Director of Pret-A-Manger, said: “Now that our coffee is increasingly popular in homes across the country, we wanted to find a solution that would help our customers easily recycle their Pret-A-Manger coffee pods. . We are excited to join the Podback program to make this possible.

Podback was set up by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK (JDE UK) and is the UK’s first national non-profit service enabling customers to recycle their aluminum and plastic coffee pods. Through Podback’s recycling program, aluminum pods are recycled into ingots and used to make new products, while used coffee grounds undergo anaerobic digestion to produce a combination of biogas and soil amendment.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Podback, said: “Pret is the first on-the-go food retailer to join Podback as a member. Expanding the program to include more brands has been a top priority since its launch last year, so we’re delighted to have Pret on board. We invite other retailers and brands to join us in making the program even more inclusive for consumers. »

KFC has partnered with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean and pledged to set up a new £40,000 fund to support local litter picking groups. The fast-food retailer will also partner with three local councils to test new ways to tackle litter in communities.

Announced as part of KFC’s partnership with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, KFC’s new waste commitments will see 3,000 restaurant team members across the UK take part in what the brand says be its biggest litter-picking mission. It aims to collect over 20,000 bags of waste, supported by local waste collection groups and local councillors.

As part of KFC’s campaign, they launched a hashtag, #Don’tBeATosser, aimed at encouraging people to avoid littering and be aware of how they dispose of their waste.

Jenny Packwood, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at KFC, said: “As the weather warms and we all spend more time outdoors, the visual pollution of litter in our local communities is more noticeable than ever. That’s why we’re partnering with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean to make sure more people can enjoy the outdoor space around them through our biggest ever litter collection mission with over 3 000 members of our team.

Allison Ogden-Newton, CEO of leading waste management charity Keep Britain Tidy, commented on KFC’s new commitments saying: ‘It’s great to see our great UK partner KFC taking real action against the waste problem. , and it starts with their enormous litter. choose this week. Through our new grant scheme, funded by KFC and administered by Keep Britain Tidy, we will also provide some of the much needed kit to support local community waste collection groups in their efforts.

ManchesterThe Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund opened applications on April 1 for projects that promote the sustainable use of household waste and generate wider social benefits for communities in Greater Manchester.

Up to £220,000 is available and applications are welcome from community, voluntary and faith groups, schools, colleges, universities and other not-for-profit organisations. The fund is provided by SUEZ and supported by funds collected from Renew stores located in three household waste recycling centers.

Last year, successful projects included The Food Collective’s Zero Waste Community Supermarket, Future Directions CIC’s Green Superheroes Project and Rochdale Intraquest’s No Time to Waste.

The £220,000 community fund will be split between two different prize categories. A total of £180,000 is available for projects that will benefit individual areas of Greater Manchester council, with a maximum of £10,000 per project for projects in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside or Trafford (this excludes Wigan as they operate separate waste disposal facilities).

A Greater Manchester-level award will be open to projects that cover more than one council area or all nine councils (excluding Wigan). A total of £40,000 in funding is on offer with a maximum of £20,000 available per project.

All charitable, community, volunteer and faith groups, schools, colleges, universities or non-profit organizations can apply for funding online this year from April 1 to May 31.

The Community Fund is part of the Greater Manchester Environment Fund (GMEF) which was set up to provide more sustained investment in projects that help create a cleaner, carbon neutral Greater Manchester and attract private investment. The Environment Fund, run by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT), aims to target funding for projects that improve nature, waterways and green spaces.

DS Smith Fiber LabDS Smith has invested £750,000 in a lab to work with customers to optimize the circularity of their packaging.

The packaging company said the lab will be used to research technologies that improve the performance and durability qualities of fiber-based packaging, including coatings and barrier technology, wet-end chemistries, surface chemistries, re-pulpability and recyclability.

Alan Potts, Director of Design and Innovation at DS Smith, said: “By exploring new technologies and raw materials, we can expand our offering of innovative circular packaging solutions that have less impact on the environment. environment and support our customers’ transition to a circular economy. .”

The new lab also supports DS Smith’s goal of researching alternative fibers as sustainable raw materials for paper and packaging products. The Fiber and Paper Development Lab is the latest investment in DS Smith’s £100 million R&D programme, which was launched in May 2021, with the aim of accelerating its work in the circular economy.

Materials Development Manager at DS Smith, Nick Thompson, said: “At DS Smith, we are constantly developing new and innovative ideas to help our customers meet this challenge and the new Fiber and Paper Development Lab allows us to optimize the performance and circularity of our customers. ‘ packaging.”

Milk Cap Recycling ProgramA Müller & Waitrose partnership will see the retailer phase out colored milk caps in a move it says could increase availability of rHDPE by 1,560 tonnes a year.

Phasing out colored milk caps could increase market availability of rHDPE by 1,560 tonnes per year. Unlike fully recyclable plastic milk bottles, colored milk caps cannot currently be recycled into food-grade packaging, says Waitrose. He says the introduction of transparent caps “allows the material to be conserved for reuse in the food sector”.

Due to higher demand for rHDPE than supply, by keeping the material in a “closed loop” system, Waitrose says there can be more rHDPE available on the market, further reducing reliance to “virgin” plastic.

Müller says he has conducted research that shows consumers support the change if it further improves the availability of food-grade recycled plastics. He said the survey found that 8 out of 10 shoppers said that, given the choice, they would choose a milk bottle using a clear milk cap that could be recycled into a food-grade material rather than a colored bottle that could not.

After several years of collaboration, Waitrose and Müller are teaming up further to test the program in all 331 stores between April 4 and 30.

Liam McNamara, Commercial Director at Müller Milk & Ingredients, said: “In an industry that needs access to more rHDPE, we are really excited to be working with Waitrose across all of their stores and testing this additional solution.