Mornings aren’t completed without a cup of aromatic coffee to awaken us coffee snobs. In fact, Australians are shifting to better quality coffee for their mornings, that they either opt for barista-brewed coffees or capsule coffees. If you want to know how to “coffee c-upcycle” after your morning coffee from your favourite café, read here. Capsule coffee is the craze. It is said that Australians consume about 3 million capsules a day, with 1.5 million households owning a capsule machine and soon to overtake the grocery bean market in 2018. Here comes the environmental scandal bit: single plastic coffee capsule takes 500-plus years to degrade, and aluminium capsule takes 150-200 years. The backlash to such convenience is huge, and commercial recycling programs are not equipped with technology to recycle these capsules – many of them end up in landfills.
Last year, Nespresso Australia launched “Project Upcycle” that aims to raise awareness about its capsule recycling program, by inviting six sustainable artists and designers from Australia to create original artworks using coffee capsules. The upcycled art pieces were auctioned and donated to each artist’s charity of choice.
(Eyeglasses and Wristwatches by Creator of Holloway Eyewear)
“Nespresso is delighted to have worked with such a high calibre of artists and designers who share in our company’s passion for creativity and deep respect for the environment. It’s our aim to create more awareness amongst our Club Members about the importance of capsule recycling,” said Renaud Tinel, General Manager for Nespresso Oceania.
Upcycling materials do become more popular as consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious. In my opinion, it has been difficult and slow to get people to embrace upcycling. However, with company or industry that sheds light onto environmental and wastage issues is definitely a great thing – especially to build a new culture to seek non-conservative ways to recycle AND upcycle.
Also, TerraCycle has a Brigade program (Read this post for more on TerraCycle) for coffee capsules recycling program linked here, so you have more options as to how to prevent coffee capsules fom landfill sites.
Do you believe that a company’s environmental responsibility may carry social currency, that influences consumers’ purchase?