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Did You Know That These Single-Use Coffee Capsules Are Recyclable?

Being environmentally conscious and pushing for recycling and sustainable initiatives are part of today’s corporate vision and responsibility. And quite often, these buzzwords are employed to give a veneer of ecology warrior-status to the corporations and businesses that are present in our everyday lives. But Patrick Pesengco, Managing Director of Novateur Coffee Concepts (the company that represents Nespresso in the Philippines), was quick to confide, "For some companies, it’s playing lip service to the concept, and it’s more marketing and PR, without truly substantive efforts. That’s why I’m especially proud to be working with Nespresso."


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He adds, "Nespresso speaks of passion, premium quality, and innovation. And for 30 years now, Nespresso has been integrating sustainability into its activities, seeking to improve its operations and generate positive impact." And given that Nespresso high-quality coffee in its aluminum capsules are single-use products, they really had to put the emphasis on innovation to make their commitment to sustainability work.


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There’s a Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program in place that fosters long-term relationships with their farmers, embedding sustainable practices on farms and supporting the resilience of farming communities and the surrounding agroforestry. This culminates in what Nespresso refers to as The Positive Cup, resulting in exceptional quality coffee, cup after cup. The impacts of this program occur beyond the immediate sphere of Nespresso’s production and commercial operations, requiring them to engage with stakeholders upstream and downstream in their value chain. Strategic partnerships and initiatives are all part of how they progress on this front.


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And here in the Philippines, Patrick and Nespresso have harnessed WWF ambassador Marc Nelson to reinforce the global message of global ambassador George Clooney on asking the consuming public to join hands with Nespresso in making the recycling of their aluminum capsules a standard and vibrant reality. Protecting the flavor and freshness of their high quality coffee, aluminum is the best material available today. It’s lightweight, and here’s the real clincher, it’s infinitely recyclable. But not that many people know that; and even if they did, what recourse do they have to make this recycling property a regular occurrence?


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Patrick Pesengco, Managing Director of Novateur Coffee Concepts (the company that represents Nespresso in the Philippines) and WWF ambassador Marc Nelson



It’s via those aforementioned stakeholders upstream and down that Nespresso Philippines has found diverse ways by which the recyclable nature of aluminum can be put to use. The Negrenese Volunteers for Change Foundation recycles parts of the aluminum cups into decorative items that are sold and help support the livelihood program of the foundation. Shredded aluminum can be sent to a smelter where they’re turned into recycled aluminum used for the manufacture of new products. Victorinox uses this recycled aluminum when they produce their Swiss knives, and another company uses them when they make their pens.


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Coffee grounds make for excellent fertilizers, and Nespresso Philippines sends their grounds to organic farm partners like Nutriganics Farm and Saret Organic Farmville for use as natural compost. And these are just some examples of how Nespresso has found ways to recycle their single-use product line. 

Evidently, there’s an element of volunteerism required, and Nespresso coffee-drinkers have to invest the effort of collecting their used capsules and grounds, and bringing them to the collection points found around Metro Manila. Patrick explained that they can also collect these used capsules. One needs to check the website to get the details of these collection points and the pick-up service.

Nespresso takes their sustainability programs seriously. How great is it that as we enjoy our Nespresso coffee, we can join them in their advocacy, too?!


Banner and thumbnail photos from @nespresso. Additional photographs by Philip Cu-Unjieng