USA – Nestle’s Nespresso has in partnership with New York City Department of Sanitation and Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR) committed to invest US$1.2 million in improving the recycling rates of Nespresso coffee capsules.

Through New York’s curbside recycling programme, Nestle targets to better sort and capture lightweight aluminium, including foil and other mixed metals, making it possible for these items to be turned into new products.

A FoodBev report indicates that SMR will use the funding to invest in technology that improves the efficiency of its non-magnetic household metals recycling process to help recycle Nespresso capsules.

The equipment will be operational starting in fall, 2019, playing a critical role in reducing an estimated amount of 43,000 tons of aluminum foil and other mixed metals going into landfill each year.

Nespresso, which sells single-serve coffee capsules said the initiative will encourage New York City dwellers recycle their Nespresso capsules as part of their regular recycling routine.

“Nespresso is deeply committed to the circular use of our products, choosing aluminium packaging because it both protects the quality of our exceptional coffees and can be recycled and reused again and again.

“This collaboration will provide New York City-based consumers with another convenient way to recycle used capsules and other aluminium products at home, allowing these items to be given many new lives.

“New Yorkers are familiar with recycling aluminium cans, and we want to encourage people to also recycle a wider array of aluminium products that they use on a regular basis,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, president and CEO of Nespresso USA.

Nespresso said the initiative will help support the city’s Zero Waste initiative, which aims to contribute zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The company already offers pre-paid UPS recycling bags in 48 states across the US for users to mail back capsules to be recycled.

“Sims Municipal Recycling’s role is to take the household recyclables that DSNY collects from New Yorkers and convert them into commodities or raw materials for manufacturers,” said Thomas Outerbridge, general manager of Sims Municipal Recycling.

“Nespresso has been extremely proactive in working with us to find an effective solution that is convenient for customers and that will allow us to direct the aluminium into productive reuse.”

Last November, Nespresso pledged to use responsibly sourced and certified aluminium for its coffee capsules.

It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with metal processor Rio Tinto to work towards 100% sustainably sourced aluminium by 2020.