Ecomondo, Rimini.

A 3 year agreement was signed today in the presence of the Undersecretary for the Environment, Barbara Degani, stipulating the following: Nespresso, CIAL (Aluminium Packaging Consortium), Federambiente and CIC (Italian Association of Composters) will collaborate in the collection, recovery and recycling of waste Nespresso coffee capsules made exclusively of aluminium.

The project, dubbed EcolaborationTM, is part of a bigger sustainability programme promoted by Nespresso on a global scale. It is designed with a view to adopting sustainable methods across the entire value chain, from the responsible procurement of resources to the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint. 

 Launched in Italy in 2011, and renewed today by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, EcolaborationTM aims to create new ways to manage the aluminium coffee capsule waste left by consumers at suitably equipped Nespresso outlets and at Recycling and Municipal Waste Collection Centres managed by the companies responsible for waste collection.

The aluminium capsules containing the consumed coffee dregs are duly recycled at aluminium treatment plants. The broken-down matter is then retrieved for compost production.

Currently, there are 44 waste collection centres across 23 Italian cities:  Turin, Genoa, Milan, Assago, Monza, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Varese, Padua, Verona, Bovolone, Vicenza, Treviso, Bolzano, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Florence, Rome, Neaples, Bari and Catania.

This widespread network offers Nespresso clients the option of participating in an extensive environmental protection project, guaranteeing the recycling of valuable resources otherwise destined for the landfill.

  • The aluminium which is used to produce the capsules is 100% recyclable and can be re-used an infinite number of times. This signals a huge saving – up to 95% – of energy and resources.
  • Residual coffee is sent for composting for rice cultivation, which is then re-purchased by Nespresso and donated to the non-profit food bank “Banco Alimentare”.

In the first three years of operation of EcolaborationTM in Italy (November 2011 – November 2014), 775 tonnes of used capsules were collected and recycled.

 Under the agreement signed by Nespresso, CIAL, Federambiente and CIC, the project envisages the establishment of a capsule pick-up service by the local authorities and/or the company responsible for local waste management, in each of the 23 aforementioned cities. 

 Subsequently, CIAL will recycle the aluminium in its foundries, while residual coffee composting will be managed by CIC. 

 During the three-year period under the renewed agreement, signed today in Rimini, an exponential growth is expected in the number of capsule collections, due to the increasingly widespread presence of Nespresso in Italy and to new agreements stipulated with local authorities.

The following statements were made by those involved in the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding:

 Barbara Degani – Under Secretary for the Environment: “The key elements underpinning the Memorandum of Understanding between Nespresso, CIAL, Federambiente and CIC, signed today at Ecomondo, are producer responsibility and the flexibility and efficiency of the system of associations and consortiums for the recovery of energy and resources. This is a very important agreement that pinpoints efficient and innovative solutions for the management of a very particular waste type, like that of the capsules. It promotes the collection, treatment and recycling of aluminium and coffee, and combines the development of new markets and new forms of consumption with the development of a sustainable economy”.

Fabio Degli Esposti – General Manager of Nespresso Italy: “Ecolaboration represents a new cooperative model that is unique in Italy. Through Ecolaboration, Nespresso limits the environmental impact of coffee consumption in every phase of its production. For the next few years, we have set ourselves some ambitious goals. We want more and more Italian consumers to come on board the project. That is why we are excited to continue the important work initiated today with the support of CIAL, Federambiente and CIC. We are convinced that this project will contribute ever more significantly to how we recycle aluminium in our country”.

 Gino Schiona – General Manager of CIAL: “We are particularly pleased to be part of the Ecolaboration project in Italy and to contribute to its success. Thanks to this program and to the renewal of the agreement supporting coffee capsule recycling, successfully initiated three years ago, we are strengthening our collaboration in waste collection and aluminium recycling. This is a major commitment and responsibility, which will generate important and increasing environmental, social and economic benefits”.

Filippo Brandolini, President of Federambiente: “The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding for the collection, recovery and recycling of waste aluminium coffee capsules is, first and foremost, good news for the environment. This agreement, which has already been successful in its first three years, is an important step forward towards an even stronger alliance with manufacturers in terms of waste reduction. This reinforces the agreement and collaboration between all the parties involved, from producers to distributors and from ordinary people to waste management companies. Federambiente and its member companies strongly support this initiative and hope that it will continue to find ever wider application in other sectors”.

Massimo Centemero – General Manager of CIC: “The results obtained so far in what we might call an innovative and experimental project, are encouraging. Coffee is a pure, uncontaminated and, above all, abundant material – as we can see from its high consumption in our country.  For this reason, it is important for it to be broken down and returned to the virtual economic cycle”.