Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Nespresso launches coffee capsule recycling rewards pilot

Nespresso has launched a new ‘Recycling Rewards’ scheme, offering consumers incentives to recycle their used aluminium coffee capsules at Nespresso Boutiques.

Until the end of June, consumers who return a full bag of 100 used aluminium coffee capsules to a Nespresso Boutique can receive a free gift in return. Rewards include a free sleeve of Nespresso coffee, a notebook made with recycled coffee grounds, and a beach towel. To claim their gift, participants must simply register their recycling via a QR code in store.

“The two-month trial is part of Nespresso’s commitment to creating a sustainable, circular coffee economy. It aims to accelerate participation in the company’s coffee capsule recycling program while gathering valuable insights into whether incentives have a role to play in driving recycling behaviour in the future.”

Nespresso Oceania General Manager Jean-Marc Dragoli says the initiative is an important step in Nespresso’s sustainability strategy and path towards net zero.

“Throughout our history, we have pioneered initiatives to create a sustainable coffee economy and use coffee as a force for good, from our AAA Sustainable Quality program™ to our nationwide coffee capsule recycling program,” Mr Dragoli said.

“Over the last decade, our recycling program has evolved to ensure convenient access to every customer in Australia, with multiple channels for involvement. Now, we are exploring new ways to accelerate participation, starting with Boutiques. The Recycling Rewards trial is part of a broader strategy which seeks to better understand recycling behaviour, raise awareness of and engagement with our recycling program, and give more aluminium coffee capsules a second life.”

Nespresso capsules are made from aluminium to protect the freshness, taste and quality of the Nespresso coffee blends. Both capsule and coffee grounds can be transformed into new products and given a new life.

Once returned to Nespresso, used capsules are taken to a dedicated recycling facility in NSW where the coffee grounds and aluminum are separated. The recovered coffee grounds are sent to another local facility where they are used for making soil in landscaping applications or compost, while the aluminium is compacted and sent for smelting and refining. “Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and can go on to make a range of products from bicycles to mechanical pencils.”

While the Recycling Rewards trial is Boutique-based only, Nespresso’s broader recycling program currently offers three additional ways for customers to recycle, including:

  • Dropping capsules off at a participating collection point;
  • Posting capsules back to Nespresso using a special Australia Post satchel; and
  • The option to participate in a bulk recycling collection initiative where workplaces or community locations can become a recycling point.

Earlier this year, Nespresso also co-developed Australia’s first kerbside collection trial for coffee capsules with recycling companies CurbCycle and IQ Renew, which engaged three local Councils in NSW to test the quality, satisfaction and long-term viability of a similar industry-wide service in Australia.

“The results at just six months were overwhelmingly positive, with almost two tonnes of recyclable aluminium coffee capsules collected from kerbsides during the trial and 98% of customers claiming they would like to continue using the program as an ongoing solution in their area.”

The findings will be shared with Planet Ark as part of discussions around product stewardship solutions for all coffee capsules into the future.

For more information about the Recycling Rewards initiative, visit

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