Nespresso to recycle its capsules

Nespresso has made what may be a ground-breaking step forward in the recovery and recycling of coffee packaging. The brand has created a system in which the little aluminium tubs or jiggers from which its espresso is brewed are to be collected and recycled.
Up to now, these capsules could not be recycled or reused. A test project has now been begun in Madrid, in which consumers can drop off the used capsules in one of a hundred shops around Spain that participate in the recycling program. Nespresso sends the capsules to a composting plant, where the coffee grounds are mechanically separated from the aluminium. The coffee is then composted to become fertilizer, and the aluminium goes to a recycling plant.

The intention is to have sufficient capacity to recycle three-quarters of the Nespresso capsule output by 2013.

In Britain, Nespresso UK has spent six months to evaluating the best options for recycling here, and a pilot scheme will begin in London, Bristol and Bath.

Although the Nespresso system has achieved a degree of success in the catering trade here, with some high-profile trade users (notably Heston Blumenthal) the reference to collection through its dedicated shops is significant. Across Europe, Nespresso has created a network of chic retail stores – in such towns as Vienna or Paris, it is now considered fashionable for consumers to drop into the local Nespresso store on a Saturday morning to pick up the next week’s supplies. It is understood that collection from catering establishments is the plan to be worked out.

Meanwhile, an advertising-trade magazine reports that Nespresso is arguing with Lavazza over a campaign theme. Nespresso’s European ad involves its star name, George Clooney, visiting heaven where he encounters God and has a conversation about coffee. Lavazza has apparently complained that the theme is pinched from its own campaign, which featured angels and St. Peter enjoying coffee in heaven. The matter has been referred to the Italian equivalent of the ASA. Nespresso is reported to have made the delightful comment: “The after-life is not particularly linked to just one brand.”

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