The investment in coffee capsule recycling is part of the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund run by the Australian government
The Australian government has awarded funding for a new national recycling scheme for coffee capsules to a consortium led by environmental organisation Planet Ark.
This funding will go towards the development of an industry-wide national product stewardship scheme for all coffee capsules available on the domestic market.
Planet Ark says the project is critical to raising recycling rates, reducing organic material in landfills and increasing access to collection points for a rapidly growing waste stream.
It’s already had support from industry leaders in the coffee capsule sector including Vittoria, Kruger ANZ and Grinders Coffee.
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said: “Planet Ark is thrilled to be leading the development of this important programme.
“It will accelerate the expansion of an industry-led product stewardship scheme for coffee capsules.
“This will enable Australians to enjoy their home-made espresso, knowing the product’s end-of-life is being managed responsibly.”
Coffee capsule funding part of the recycling investment plan run by the Australian government
The funding is being provided through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund, a 20m Australian dollar (AU$) ($15m) fund to improve existing and kickstart new schemes.
The fund forms part of the Australian government’s AU$167m ($125m) Australian Recycling Investment Plan and National Waste Policy Action Plan to increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, and halve food waste by 2030.
Australia’s assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management Trevor Evans said: “Australians love their coffee, and this new product stewardship scheme for coffee capsules will reduce waste going to landfill, lift recycling rates and help consumers make a practical, positive difference for the environment.”
To execute the programme, Planet Ark will lead a consortium including coffee company Nespresso and Australian supermarket chain Woolworths.
Nespresso brings the experience of running its own coffee capsule recycling programme in Australia, while Woolworths will work with the project partners to evaluate the feasibility of in-store capsule collection and transport to recycling facilities.
Nespresso general manager Jean-Marc Dragoli said: “We have developed a robust programme which has been collecting and recycling them in Australia for ten years.
“We are keen to work with other manufacturers so that all consumers buying capsules will have access to recycling.
“This is why we partnered with Planet Ark’s consortium, to make this a reality.”
Woolworths 360 director Laurie Kozlovic added: “We’re proud to be working with Planet Ark to develop innovative solutions like the coffee pod recycling initiative.
“We want to make sustainable choices easier for our customers and we look forward to offering them a convenient place to drop off their used coffee pods, knowing they’ll be saved from landfill and have a second life in a new product.
“We’re always looking for ways to support the development of a circular economy, whether it’s through smart initiatives like this one or our ongoing work to make our own packaging more recyclable.”