Nespresso trials recycling bags just for coffee capsules in affluent Kensington and Chelsea borough

It may not come as a huge surprise that the well-heeled residents of Kensington and Chelsea enjoy a cup of coffee brewed with Nespresso pods.

Luckily it would seem they are also keen to protect the environment. New figures show that up to 120,000 aluminium capsules made by the coffee firm were recycled during a six-month pilot run by the council.

The scheme, between last May and November, was such a success the borough has announced a six-month extension. It could run indefinitely.

Nespresso users were asked to put their capsules in a special purple bag and put them out on collection day. A total of 1,200 sacks, each of which can hold up to 100 pods, were collected.

Only capsules made by Nespresso,  which uses aluminium pods, can go in the bags. Most other pods use plastic and foil, requiring a different recycling process.

Nespresso set up the scheme last year after criticism of single-use coffee pods, many of which end up in landfill as they are difficult to recycle.

Kensington and Chelsea were picked as collaborators due to the borough’s number of Nespresso Club members — who can buy capsules and get advice on the different blends — as well as Nespresso boutiques in its vicinity.

Councillor Will Pascall, lead member for the environment, said: “As the only local authority in the UK offering the scheme, we’re taking on recycling from coffee cup to recycle truck.” 

The borough today announced a food waste recycling scheme, with 2,000 households in Chelsea taking part. Almost two thirds of residents surveyed supported the decision to introduce a collection service.

The council said recycling was 80 per cent cheaper than landfill or incineration. The recycled rubbish will be sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, which generates power, and used as a compost. 

Nespresso, whose adverts star George Clooney, said: “Following the first phase of the trial, we are now planning on extending it until the end of April to give more customers the opportunity to benefit.”

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