Terracycle - the recycling con

I recently took advantage of the costa coffee offer on Tassimo coffee machines to buy one for my home office for £30 (including £20 of coffee!) Seemed like a bargain too good to miss - and it's certainly been very handy with the baby around not to be dashing up and down the stairs to get a drink.

I was pleased to find that there is a recycling scheme for its capsules, especially since it generates a LOT of waste packaging - particularly compared to my Nespresso machine. The drinks l like come with a disc for coffee, a disc for milk, a cardboard box and a plastic wrapper per 8 drinks. This is actually a heck of a lot of packaging and waste. (See pic).

But hey, it can all be recycled right? That's the claim at least - through a website called Terracycle, which offers free postage on the waste and even points on the collected materials that can be used to purchased recycled products.

Except the claim doesn't really stand up - you see Terracycle seems to be an aggregation point for 'brigades' which on the face of it seem to be teams (volunteers?) associated to a particular type of waste (such as Tassimo). I've applied to the Tassimo 'brigade' - for months now I have been 'pending' waiting for a slot in a 'brigade' that appears to only have 3000. What exactly does this mean? That only 3000 people in the whole of the UK can recycle their Tassimo waste?

Whatever it means, it's a major frustration, that I've had piling up boxes and boxes of waste that in reality seems to have nowhere to go.
Finally I've cracked and done what I can to recycle it myself - separating out all the cardboard and plastic capsules that has milk (so are now empty) and the plastic packaging... The coffee filled capsules I've had to send to landfill (unless someone can tell me differently). Aside from the time and effort, (which I don't really begrudge), what really annoys me is the Terracycle scheme is essentially a non-existent scheme, cleverly used for marketing and green credential, but essentially useless. You have been warned.

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