Swiss coffee company Nestlé Nespresso S.A. called upon its competitors in the portioned-coffee market to team up with it in developing a worldwide recycling program for aluminium coffee capsules.
At the annual convergence of the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board (NSAB) in Geneva, the firm issued the invitation to establish such a global standard, with hopes that such a move would boost recycling rates of the aluminium capsules. NSAB says the standard would result in greater accessibility and convenience, thus increasing recycling of the capsules.
Jean-Marc Duvoisin, Nespresso’s CEO, says that the move is aimed at nudging the global economy closer to greater overall sustainability.
“Aluminium is a valuable material and is infinitely recyclable. We have built a global scheme for recycling our capsules, and by inviting other companies to join our system, we hope to offer a solution for the whole category. This decision is aligned with our global initiatives to shape a waste-free future and drive behaviour change towards a circular economy.”
Nespresso says it will build upon lessons learned in the three decades since it set up dedicated aluminium recycling programs in over four dozen countries. Starting from zero, Nespresso’s program yielded over 100,000 drop-off points.
Daniel Katz, NSAB member and Chairman of the Board of the Rainforest Alliance, lauded Nespresso for its continuing efforts at increasing the sustainability of its products.
“This capsule recycling initiative by Nespresso has the potential to drive significant positive change on one of the key issues that faces the portioned coffee industry – the capsules themselves. Nespresso has worked with the Rainforest Alliance for 16 years on sustainably sourced coffee, and it is inspiring to see the company take ownership of aluminium recycling, helping lead the way and engage competitors, and driving towards a potential global solution to coffee capsule recycling.”
According to Nespresso, in addition to the myriad of uses for recycled aluminium, the used coffee grounds can also find new uses in biogas and natural fertilizer.