Nespresso, the pioneer of the portioned coffee market, celebrates a decade of its UK coffee capsule recycling scheme this month. The 10-year anniversary marks a milestone in the company’s ambitions towards circularity.

Since the launch of the recycling scheme, with the help of Nespresso customers, the company has:
· Recycled enough aluminium to produce 40 million cans
· Saved enough carbon energy to watch 130 million hours of television
· Saved enough carbon energy to heat 6000 average households for 1 year
· Today, over a third of capsules are recycled in the UK and Republic of Ireland

Nespresso coffee capsules are made of aluminium because it is an infinitely recyclable material and protects the quality and freshness of the coffee. Once recycled, the aluminium from Nespresso’s capsules goes back into the aluminium value chain, where it is used to make a wide range of useful everyday objects, from car parts and cans to bicycles. The coffee grounds are recovered to create biogas and as a soil improver.

With support from industry body, the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), Nespresso first established a dedicated recycling scheme for its aluminium capsules with Tandom Metallurgical Group in 2010, in an effort to ensure the whole capsule could be given a second life. Tandom operates a specialist recycling facility in Cheshire, where Nespresso capsules are processed. Recycling aluminium saves energy by approximately 95 per cent compared to producing it from ore.

Guillaume Chesneau, Managing Director of Nespresso UK & ROI, said: “For over thirty years, Nespresso has created quality coffee experiences that go hand in hand with sustainability. We are proud to have been leading the industry in aluminium capsule recycling in the UK for the last ten years. We are committed to building on these strong foundations and harnessing every opportunity to have a positive impact on the world, continuing to take action in our quest towards circularity.”

Nespresso has also developed several partnerships to create innovative and inspiring objects from its recycled capsules. These partnerships illustrate the potential of recyclable aluminium and encourage Nespresso customers to recycle their capsules. Recent products include a Caran D’Ache pen and RE:CYCLE, a stylish bicycle made by Swedish lifestyle bike brand Vélosophy.

Andy Lumsden, Commercial Director at Tandom Metallurgical Group, said: “Nespresso’s passion for recycling and circularity has been clear from the start. This milestone marks a decade of commitment and innovation throughout our partnership and we have made huge strides in directing materials away from landfill and making energy savings in saving aluminium for new uses.”

Rick Hindley, Executive Director at Alupro, added: “It’s incredibly impressive to see the growth of the Nespresso recycling scheme since first working with them to develop and deliver the launch a full 10 years ago. It makes us incredibly proud to now be able to say we played a part in helping to create a recycling operation that has constantly improved, delivering a vital service to their customers and the planet. We’re excited to see how the recycling scheme further develops and how different it will look in another ten years.”

Recycling Milestones
1996 - The first recycling service began in Switzerland

2009 – Nespresso becomes one of the seven founders of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The ASI has driven traceability in the aluminium supply chain and established the first standard covering critical issues for the entire aluminium value chain; biodiversity management in mining, the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights as well as setting specific criteria to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage water responsibly in production.

2018 - Nespresso becomes the first company to use the world’s first ever responsibly sourced, ASI certified aluminium, supplied by Rio Tinto. The use of ASI certified aluminium is an important milestone towards reducing the impact that the world’s second most used base metal has on the planet.

2020 - Nespresso now uses 80% recycled aluminium in its capsules

Today, Nespresso has the capacity to collect and process 100% of all used capsules across the UK, with consumers able to recycle their capsules by dropping their used capsules off at any Nespresso boutique or over 7000 Collect+ locations, or by booking a home collection.