Ever since George Clooney burst onto our screens declaring his love for Nespresso, the world has gone mad for the stunning convenience of pod coffee machines! Yet again though it is the environment that pays the price for the convenience. Full disclosure – I own a Nespresso machine and have the intention of replacing it with a system that produces zero waste should it ever fail on me. I would advise anyone currently in the market for in-home caffeination to do the same.
What is great about the Nespresso capsules though is that they are made of aluminium, an infinitely recyclable material. In the past it was quite difficult to return your used capsules to Nespresso for recycling, involving a trip into their stores at Karrinyup or the city. Thankfully, Nespresso implemented their Ecolaboration program, opening up more avenues for recycling and now more than 75% of Nespresso capsules are recycled.
Did you know Ellenby Tree Farm (featured on the cover) is the closest recycling point for Nespresso capsules for those of us in the Northern Valleys? You order recycling bags (pictured below) for your used pods when ordering your coffee (cost is 20 cents), then deliver them to their display farm at 493 Sydney Road, Gnangara.
Want it to be even easier? You can order a pre-paid recycling post satchel for $1.90 with your coffee – simply fill it with used pods and pop it in the nearest post box when you are done!
These initiatives are fantastic; however, recycling is energy intensive. There are a lot of companies now who make biodegradable pods compatible with Nespresso (e.g. EcoCaffee), these can be buried in your garden or composted. An increasing number of re-fillable pods are now coming into the market too (SealPod, WayCap), allowing you to use any ground coffee in them, rinsing and refilling as necessary. I’ve even viewed a “Nespresso hack” on YouTube showing someone removing the perforated portion of their used capsule themselves, cleaning and refilling it, then sealing it with aluminium foil to be used again (talk about energy-intensive!). If your machine is still under warranty I would definitely avoid using anything other than genuine Nespresso capsules in it.
If you have a Nespresso machine and your used pods just end up in with your general rubbish, I would implore you to give their recycling program a go. It really is simple and removes the side order of guilt that comes with every coffee you make!