Nespresso is undoubtedly the leader in the Coffee Capsule market and with the proliferation of their coffee capsule machines into households across the world, come concerns over the impact of their capsules on the environment.
There has been criticism and concerns over the amount of waste that is created through the consumption of these capsules, which are all too easily thrown into the regular household waste. The capsules themselves are made from the highly recyclable material, aluminium.
Nespresso already has capsule recycling programs in place around the world. So it is clear that the company understands the concerns of sustainability and environmental responsibility. The company has been implementing capsule collection systems in many countries of the world where they install collection points, offer at home collection, collection points at retail locations and at municipal waste disposal centres. What is of concern however is that some countries do not classify used capsules as packaging therefore deeming them destined for landfil.
It would seem, as far as the issue of recycling aluminium goes that there is a long way to go for implementation of recycling facilities. As well as much needed work with governments to enable recycling as well as encouraging consumers to change behaviour. Of course consumers need to be aware of their responsibility in this whole situation and ensure they are seeking recycling options where possible.
What is possibly even more interesting about the suitability issue of the Capsule market is not that of recycling aluminium, but the fact that Nestle, the parent company of Nespresso, has seen the potential in the used coffee grounds themselves.
It has been identified that used coffee grounds store huge energy potential in the form of biogas. Construction has begun on a Biogas plan in Vaud, Switzerland to provide renewable energy to the Swiss power grid. Nespresso has stated that they will contribute 3000t of used coffee grounds from the combination of its 3 production centres as well as from its Swiss recycling system.
This is a unique approach to renewable energy & recycling that has utilised their massive influence in the Capsule Coffee market to capture an energy source that would otherwise be wasted in traditional forms of coffee use. It is apparent that while on the surface, these capsule offerings may seem wasteful and destined for landfills. However there is big work and creative solutions being implemented, to ensure this is a sustainable industry powering our appetites for a decent cup of coffee.
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