The company committed in 2009, as part of its Ecolaboration program, to put collection systems in place in an effort to triple the recycling capacity of used aluminum capsules to 75 percent. As of June 2012, the recycling capacity for used capsules worldwide stands at 76.4 percent, Nespresso said.
The Swiss company started a dedicated capsule recycling system in its home market in 1991. Since then it has expanded its Nespresso recycling systems to more than 20 countries.
Nespresso relies on existing programs in Germany, Sweden and Finland that classify used aluminum as packaging, which allows the capsules to be collected and recycled in national or local packaging recovery and recycling schemes.
The company has developed its own recovery programs in places where this doesn’t exist. To date, Nespresso has installed about 20,000 dedicated capsule collection points in 19 of its markets.
For example, in 2008 it started a collection system in France, which today has more than 3,000 collection points in Nespresso boutiques, at Mondial Relay parcel shipment points and at waste collection centers. The company is also developing a capsule collection program for B2B customers and has already started to work with Bank of Austria, Club Med in France, Erasmus in Netherlands and Mobistar in Belgium.
The firm has also created an iPhone app that helps its customers identify the closest collection point to return their used capsules for recycling.
In June, Nestlé Group along with the Packaging Federation, The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment, Diageo, Boots, P&G and Rexam called for the phrase “sustainable packaging” to be scrapped and urged the UK government to get to grips with the real issues affecting the industry, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The group said the focus should be on ensuring packaging delivers maximum sustainability through the entire supply chain and is recoverable after use.