A coffee machine manufacturer has launched a scheme with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to recycle used aluminium coffee capsules put out alongside the usual household collections.
The six-month trial involving Nespresso is the first of its type for the company in the UK and for any local authority.
Customers in the borough will receive six purple recycling bags which will be collected and sent to a Nespresso recycling facility.
MRW understands that the coffee capsules are almost entirely aluminium with minimal plastic. The coffee remains are sieved out to create nutrient-rich compost and the capsules will go into a smelting furnace.
A challenge for recyclers is that shredders can rip apart the pods too much and contaminate the coffee residues with small metal pieces.
Francisco Nogueira, managing director of Nespresso UK and Ireland, said: “We launched our own dedicated recycling services seven years ago. We have seen them go from strength to strength as we widened the variety of ways that customers can return their capsules.
”Every week we are seeing an increase in the volume of capsules being sent in by customers through our system. But we know there is still much to be done, and recycling through the municipal system is something our members have asked for.”
Currently, consumers can recycle their capsules at 24 Nespresso outlets across the UK, via home deliveries or by using one of the 6,000 Doddle and Collect+ collection points.
Nogueira added: “We have an ambition to work with other councils to roll out similar schemes.”