Nothing to do with my job, this, but I’m a keen recycler and there’s little info on this topic – recycling Nespresso coffee pods.
Did you know billions of pods end up in landfill every year and, as they’re made out of a mixture of plastic and aluminium, they can take 500 years to break down? Or that sales have risen 30 percent in a year and we now buy 500 million pods a year in Britain?
In Germany they’ve banned single-serve coffee pods from state buildings as they’re so hard to recycle and use 3g of packaging for 6g of coffee.
I had a chat with a virtuous lady, Cynthia, on Streetlife who goes to a lot of effort to cut off the lids, freeze the pods then tap out the frozen coffee for compost and recycle the pods as aluminium. She did this because she’d left her bag out to be collected when she put in a new Nespresso order and never had it picked up.
‘Official’ Nespresso recycling process
I suspect this is because the Nespresso process is complicated!
- Order recycling bags – IF you’re ordering coffee too (and a max of nine bags at a time).
- Check the box to request in the order for your recycling to be picked up at the same time – IF you’re ordering coffee too AND if the bag is at least half-full. That’s 200 pods!
Not much good if, like me, you drink less than a cup a day and order a box of 250 at a time, which will last a year! (A lesson learned the hard way – pop your used coffee pods in the bag and leave for a month and they get lovely and furry – and mouldy. Think I’ll be finding a spot in my freezer, like Cynthia, to store the bag while I’m filling it.)
Other ways to recycle are no less complicated –
- Drop off at a Nespresso boutique – there are only nine in the country, five in London.
- Take to a Doddle near a train or tube station (only 70 in the country).
Finally, I found that you can take to a CollectPlus collection point and post back to Nespresso. There’s a link to the Collect Plus site to print off a label to drop off and send back your Nespresso recycling bag.
Actual Nespresso recycling process
But that doesn’t solve my biggest dilemma – it will take me a year to recycle 200!
So I posted on Streetlife and on my local Women’s Institute page requests for people to give me their used pods – let’s start a collective. Currently there are two of us in this club, with a few more interested.
When I called the Nespresso membership helpline for further info, however, it was a completely different story. I found out that I can order the bags if I call, without needing to place a coffee order – and I can organise a collection without a coffee order too. Nor does the bag need to be half-full. Hurrah! Later, I got a tweet back saying I could DM my membership number and details to organise this too.
Now that I know how few pods get recycled though – and how hard it can be to get the information – I think I’ll keep going with my local collective and get those bags filled before getting them recycled.
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