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Nespresso commits US$1.2 Million to aluminium capsule recycling program

Nespresso has made a US$1.2 million commitment to better enable the recovery of its aluminium coffee capsules through New York City's curbside recycling program.

"Nespresso is deeply committed to the circular use of our products, choosing aluminium packaging because it both protects the quality of our exceptional coffees and can be recycled and reused again and again," says Guillaume Le Cunff, President and CEO of Nespresso USA.

"This collaboration will provide New York City-based consumers with another convenient way to recycle used capsules and other aluminium products at home, allowing these items to be given many new lives."

Nespresso says its collaboration with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), and Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR) will drive its recycling efforts further and provide consumers with additional options.

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"[SMR]‘s role is to take the household recyclables that DSNY collects from New Yorkers and convert them into commodities or raw materials for manufacturers," says Thomas Outerbridge, General Manager of SMR.

"Nespresso has been extremely proactive in working with us to find an effective solution that is convenient for customers and that will allow us to direct the aluminium into productive reuse."

In addition to capsules, the commitment will allow SMR to better sort and capture lightweight aluminium, including foil and other mixed metals. This collaboration makes it possible for these items to be turned into new products.

The funding from Nespresso will assist SMR in investing in the additional technology that is required to improve the efficiency of its non-magnetic household metals recycling process, and help to reduce the amount of aluminium that ends up in landfill. The equipment will be operational starting fall 2019, and residents across the five boroughs in New York City will be encouraged to recycle their Nespresso capsules as part of their regular recycling routine.

"This is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can collaborate to develop solutions that have broad environmental impact and create shared value,” Nespresso’s Le Cunff says.

“New Yorkers are familiar with recycling aluminium cans, and we want to encourage people to also recycle a wider array of aluminium products that they use on a regular basis."

The collaboration will support New York City's Zero Waste initiative, which aims to contribute zero waste to landfill by 2030. A key component of the partnership will be to encourage New York City residents to recycle Nespresso capsules as well as the 43,000 tonnes of aluminium foil and other mixed metals that currently end up in landfill each year.

"New York City works to have as inclusive a recycling program as possible, and [DSNY] supports industry efforts to maximise recovery of recyclable items. We want to recycle all of your aluminium items, not just soda cans," says Steven Costas, Acting Commissioner at the DSNY.

Nespresso has a continuous focus on developing solutions to make recycling as simple and convenient as possible for consumers. Nespresso offers pre-paid United Parcel Service (UPS) recycling bags in 48 states across the United States so that consumers can mail back capsules to be recycled.

The Nespresso recycling program with UPS will continue to be available across the US. Consumers can bring recycling bags to one of 88,000 UPS drop-off locations or 500 collection points at Nespresso Boutiques and select retailers across the country.

Once capsules are collected, they are sent to recycling businesses that work closely with Nespresso, who separate the aluminium from the coffee grounds to give them a second life. The coffee grounds can be turned into nutrient-rich compost and topsoil. The aluminium is processed and, ultimately, reused to create new products.

Globally, Nespresso says it works alongside a range of municipalities and businesses to invest in dedicated recycling initiatives that enable the convenient collection of used capsules.

In 1991, in Switzerland, Nespresso helped to develop the first recycling system dedicated to Nespresso capsules. The company also helped implement a municipal recycling program, similar to the New York City initiative, in Paris, France. Consumers in Germany, Sweden and Finland can also recycle their capsules in the same way they do other household packaging.

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