Is Peet’s coffee packaging recyclable?

This article discusses whether Peet’s coffee packaging is recyclable. We discuss the various methods for recycling the packaging material, as well as the alternatives when recycling is not an option, which can happen in some instances.

Is Peet’s coffee packaging recyclable?

Yes, Peet’s coffee packaging is recyclable. However, in some cases, due to factors such as location as well as socioeconomic factors, the option to recycle Peet’s coffee packaging material may not be available.

What is Peet’s coffee packaging made of

Peet’s coffee packaging bags are constructed of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), a durable and lightweight plastic often used for food packaging, and aluminium. Some, but not all, of these bags are recyclable. 

Therefore, you may need to check with your local municipality to see if Peet’s coffee packaging bags are recyclable in your region.

In the case of coffee capsules, the metal from your Peet’s Espresso capsules will be removed from the coffee grounds when they arrive at the recycling site. Aluminium is recycled, and coffee grounds are transformed into high-quality soil.

Why Is Recyclable Packaging Important?

According to the World Bank, yearly garbage output would have grown by 70% to 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050. Consumer product manufacturing, preparation, and packing account for a major portion of this waste.

The coffee supply chain generates a significant amount of trash. As a roaster, you must deliver your coffee in acceptable condition to your consumers, which necessitates packing. 

Because most customers throw away their empty bags after use, recyclable packaging is critical. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the harmful impact of pollution on the planet’s well-being. 

According to the World Economic Forum, over three-quarters of customers are prepared to change their behaviours to include more environmentally friendly packaging.

Switching to recyclable packaging, on the other hand, doesn’t simply appeal to customers; research suggests that the environmental advantages are also promising. 

According to a study conducted by Zero Garbage Europe, Reloop, and the University of Utrecht, reusable packaging emits less carbon than single-use packaging while also lowering the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or the ocean.

How To Recycle Different Types Of Peet’s Coffee Packaging

There are certain methods one can use when it comes to recycling, which vary depending upon the type of packaging used. In this article, we discuss the recycling methods for the following types of packaging:

  • LDPE Packaging
  • PLA Packaging

We shall discuss these in more detail below.

LDPE Packaging

Due to its flexibility, durability, and sustainability, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) coffee packaging is popular among roasters.

Unlike other materials, LDPE coffee bags just require one layer of protection rather than many layers to secure their contents. Because each layer does not have to be separated, they are lighter and easier to recycle.

The end-user will find it easier to dispose of LDPE, since the firm LDPE pouches used to hold coffee are less prone to contamination, making recycling easier and less expensive.

Additionally, during the manufacturing process, they also require less energy and raw materials. LDPE bags, like PLA, must be treated at specialised recycling centres.

After sorting, the materials are sent through machinery that turn them into pellets that may be reused or used to produce new LDPE products. In response to the increased popularity of LDPE packaging, cities have begun sprouting new, dedicated facilities. 

This makes recycling quicker and more convenient, enhancing the material’s status as an environmentally benign alternative for roasters.

PLA packaging

PLA packaging is created by fermenting carbohydrates derived from renewable sources including maize, cornstarch, and sugarcane.

Fermentation creates resin filaments that resemble petroleum-based plastic in appearance, feel, and performance. It is a popular option among specialty roasters due to its high tensile strength, which protects the coffee from the shocks and jolts of long transportation voyages.

The main distinction is that PLA is environmentally friendly. Not only does it need far less energy to create, but the end product is also biodegradable.

PLA may disintegrate in as little as 90 days in the correct climate, compared to over 1,000 years for petroleum-based plastic.

PLA is transported to specialised facilities where it is broken down faster by microorganisms due to high temperatures and moisture conditions.

If you’re utilising PLA for coffee packaging, bear in mind that due to its lower melting temperature, it can’t be recycled with other plastics. It is possible to compost it at home, but it will take much longer than at a specialised facility.

Taking PLA coffee packaging to specialised recycling centres, which are accessible in most cities, is the easiest method to recycle it.

Recycling programmes for Peet’s coffee packaging

Peet’s coffee packaging material can be recycled by different organisations. The organisations responsible for this are:

  • TerraCycle
  • Podback

We shall discuss these in more detail.


Terracycle is a non-profit organisation established in the United States that aims to recycle the “unrecyclable.”

TerraCycle can collect and recycle practically any type of trash, whether it’s coffee capsules from your house, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing site. 

Individual collectors, such as end-users, as well as large consumer goods firms, merchants, manufacturers, municipalities, and small enterprises, work with TerraCycle in over 20 countries. 

TerraCycle can remove millions of pounds of garbage from landfills and incinerators each month on average.


Podback is a programme started in the UK by Nestle and JDE UK, a part of the JDE Peet’s group. It is a not-for-profit group which aims to include other coffee brands.

Podback is the UK’s first cross-industry coffee initiative, offering a variety of options for UK customers to recycle their coffee pods.

The plan, which will launch in early 2021, will first include brands such as Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, and Tassimo, which account for the bulk of the UK market. The goal is to expand the programme to include all coffee brands in the UK that utilise plastic or aluminium pods.

The cooperation with Podback intends to enhance coffee pod recycling alternatives in three ways. Consumers will be able to drop off their spent coffee pods at any of the 6,500 Collect+ supplied by Yodel drop-off points located across the UK.

What to do when recycling is not available

There are certain instances where recycling coffee packaging material may not be available in your area. In such cases, you can reduce your waste-generation from coffee packaging material by repurposing it for other uses.

Some of the ways in which coffee packaging material can be reused are:

  • Doll clothing articles and jewellery
  • Book covers
  • Bag to grow plants
  • Halloween costumes

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Doll clothing articles and jewellery

Produce strips from coffee bags and attach them to empty cardboard paper towel tubes to make instant doll bracelets.

Gather a coffee bag onto the bottom half of a length of silver duct tape to form a gleaming skirt for Barbie. Then, using a little beaded safety pin, secure it discreetly.

Book covers

To make a fast book cover, tape or glue numerous bags to a paper book cover. The biggest advantage this method holds is that it should outlast a standard paper cover.

Bag to grow plants

Using Peet’s coffee packaging bags as a substitute for plant containers is a terrific idea. For individuals that enjoy spending time in the garden and consider themselves to have a green thumb, this is a more practical approach to growing new seedlings.

In order to do it, one needs to follow the following steps:

  • Make a few holes in the bottom of the coffee bag with a perforator.
  • Fill the coffee bag with potting soil until it is two-thirds full. Plant your preferred seedlings next.
  • They may cut the coffee bags open for repotting when the seedlings outgrow them.
  • Coffee bags should be washed. You can now utilise them for another project.

Halloween costumes

Create aliens by layering Mylar coffee bags and glueing them over worn-out sweatpants and t-shirts. You can construct some realistic-looking robots by doing this using cardboard forms.

Toy weapons can also be covered with Mylar sheets. Then, using plastic paint, paint the details. Mylar is substantially more durable than aluminium foil.


Peet’s coffee packaging material is recyclable. Usually, two types of packaging materials are used, which are PLA and LDPE, both of which can be recycled.

Certain programs, such as TerraCycle in the United States, and Podback in the United Kingdom help end-users as well as the manufacturers to recycle the coffee packaging material.

However, in instances where one cannot find a feasible way to recycle the coffee packaging material, it would be wise to repurpose it for other such uses, such as a bag for growing seedlings, halloween costumes, book covers, and much more.


How do you recycle coffee packets?

You may recycle your coffee bag if it is made of paper. If the paper is covered in a thin layer of plastic film, the bag should be thrown away. Because the composite materials cannot be separated for recycling, this is the case. 

Coffee bags made of plastic or metallized film are likewise not yet recyclable by the conventional municipality systems, but can be recycled through other organisations such as TerraCycle in the US.

Can I recycle used aluminium coffee pods?

Yes, you can recycle used aluminium coffee pods quite easily. Allow the used coffee capsule to cool somewhat before piercing the foil with your nail and peeling it away in a circular motion to remove the entire piece in one motion. 

It should be quite simple to remove. Don’t worry about getting rid of everything. Because it’s all made of aluminium, it’ll be recycled in any case.

Coffee grinds may be used in the garden. Add them to your compost bin for added nitrogen and improved soil structure or sprinkle them on your plants to deter slugs.

Unlike most other companies, we use a single material throughout the whole capsule. Aluminium. There isn’t a single piece of plastic to be found. 

That means they’re totally recyclable, including the top lid, and may be put in your regular home recycling.

Are coffee bags compostable?

No, coffee bags are not compostable. The disposal of many of the currently available biodegradable or “compostable” coffee bags necessitates additional effort. 

Some are labelled as biodegradable, but that does not mean they are compostable. Biodegradable packaging does not need to be evaluated or validated, and it may not even be environmentally benign.

Non-compostable elements, such as a plastic valve or a liner made of polyethylene, are found in many of these coffee bags. Before composting, they must be removed since they will contaminate the process.


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