Swiss coffee giant Nespresso announced at the end of March that it was opening up its aluminum coffee pod recycling program to other pod manufacturers in an effort to create a global recycling scheme for aluminum coffee capsules.
Nespresso announced on March 29 that it was inviting other coffee pod manufacturers to join its recycling program in the hopes of improving the accessibility and convenience of aluminum capsule recycling. Companies who agree to partner with Nespresso in this recycling program will also gain the right to help define the funding and governance model and encourage more widespread use of the service.
“Aluminium is a valuable material and is infinitely recyclable,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso. “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.”
The need for a coffee-pod specific recycling system comes from the fact that most countries do not have a public recycling infrastructure able to process small light items such as a coffee pod. Nespresso first set up such a recycling scheme 28 years ago, and today it is the most advanced of its kind in the industry, with more than 100,000 drop-off points across 53 countries and, now, for the first time, is being opened up to non-Nespresso companies.
“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,” explained Daniel Katz, NSAB member and Chairman of the Board of the Rainforest Alliance. “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.”
The move follows only months after Nespresso announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anglo-Australian metals and mining megalith Rio Tinto to source the world’s first responsibly-sourced aluminum for its coffee pods.
“Nespresso is proud to have been a driving force in creating and implementing the ASI,” added Jean-Marc Duvoisin, speaking in November. “Together we have made responsibly-sourced aluminium a reality, and the ASI traceability mechanism will enable us to meet our commitment to customers to reduce the impact of their consumption. This is a positive step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.”
“This as an important step towards the use of responsibly sourced aluminium across manufacturing industries, which Rio Tinto is the first to supply,” added Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios. “We expect the demand from consumers for sustainable products to continue growing and Nespresso drinkers can have confidence the aluminium we supply for their capsules meets the highest international standards.”