Nespresso, JDE and Nestlé join forces on capsule recycling

In France, Nespresso, Nestlé and JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) have come together to form the Alliance for the Recycling of Aluminium Capsules. These three companies are launching an appeal to other players in the market to extend the recycling scheme initially launched by Nespresso 10 years ago, to ensure all aluminium coffee capsules are recycled.

Aluminium is 100% recyclable, meaning it can be used infinitely. In the majority of countries, however, public recycling infrastructure is not capable of recycling small, lightweight packaging such as aluminium coffee capsules. With this in mind, in 2008, Nespresso France introduced a range of initiatives aimed at effectively recycling their used capsules.

Through its partnerships, 90% of Nespresso customers now have access to a recycling solution close to their home, and 25% of French people can recycle their capsules, and any other small items of aluminium packaging, by placing their used Nespresso capsules directly in the recycling bin (this will be the yellow bin in the majority of cities). The target is to extend this to 50% of French people between now and 2022.

Aluminium is a material that is being used more and more often by coffee producers because it is the only material capable of protecting coffee aromas at 100% from light, oxygen and humidity. This protects the 900 volatile aromas in coffee, ensuring they remain intact until they reach the cup. By inviting other portioned coffee manufacturers to join their recycling scheme, Nespresso has made clear its intention to make recycling aluminium capsules easier and more accessible.

JDE, Nespresso and Nestlé have together launched the Alliance for the Recycling of Aluminium Capsules, which aims to extend the collection and recycling system initiated by Nespresso. This initiative meets the challenges set by the Circular Economy bill, one of the primary objectives of which is to improve waste collection.

“It is our aim to ensure that all aluminium capsules in France are recycled. Given that aluminium is 100% recyclable, it is our responsibility as a company to establish a system to ensure it is recycled effectively. After 10 years of working on this and the setting up of an effective public-private partnership making it possible to recycle all small aluminium packages in France, the so-called “Metal Project”, I am delighted to be able to set up this Alliance for the Recycling of Aluminium Capsules with JDE, and to extend the invitation to all other aluminium capsules manufacturers to join us. The deployment of this unique recycling system, which has already been shown to be effective, will be key in successfully transitioning towards a circular economy”, said Arnaud Deschamps, managing director of Nespresso in France.

By creating this Alliance for the Recycling of the Aluminium Capsules, Nespresso, Nestlé and JDE have decided to work together to develop the recycling of aluminum capsules and wish to engage all market players to join this initiative.

Together, these major players in the coffee category will develop new collection points for aluminium capsules, most notably in supermarkets, in addition to working on the deployment of aluminium collection in recycling bins.

“In a context of ecological emergency, we, as major agribusiness companies, have the responsibility to take action in order to reduce the impact our packaging has on the environment. We firmly believe that, through this collective effort, we will be able to identify tailored solutions to meet these challenges and deploy them effectively in France. I am proud to formally launch this Alliance for the Recycling of Aluminium Capsules, which has been made possible through the willingness and determination we share with Nespresso to join forces. I would like to call on aluminium capsules manufacturers to join our movement and to work with us towards a circular economy”, said Juan Amat, managing director of JDE in France.

Like JDE and Nestlé, companies joining the Alliance for the Recycling of Aluminium Capsules will be involved in its governance and financing, and will encourage wider use of this recycling solution.

All capsules collected via the recycling bin are brought to a pyrolysis oven, with the aluminium collected in this way being used to manufacture other objects, such as bikes, computers and car engines.

All capsules collected using any other method (Nespresso boutiques, delivery points, recycling centres, supermarkets, etc.) are sent to a specific processing centre for aluminium capsules: the coffee grounds are used for biogas and compost, while the aluminium is used to manufacture new objects.

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