In the post today I received an envelope from Nespresso containing the following additions to the Nespresso service:

Nespresso, Nestle’s premium coffee pod brand has always delivered on quality and convenience, both of product and of service, but has up until now had no answer to the critics that point out the waste caused by the very packaging that makes it all so convenient.Now Nespresso has moved to address this by introducing a free re-cycling service available via its Nespresso boutique stores and through its home delivery service. Nespresso Club Members just need to fill up the green and silver sacks with their used pods and then when they are full seal them and either take them into their nearest store or arrange to have them collected with their next delivery.

Its part of what Nespresso call “Ecolaboration“. A simple, clean, solution – much like the coffee pods themselves.

Now, if you’ve look hard enough, on ebay and specialist sites on the web then you would have come across devices that allow you, for a small fee, to extract the coffee from your coffee pods making them easier to recycle. But its an inelegant solution – and goes against the Nespresso credo of combining design and simplicity.

The recycle bag Ecolaboration move also reflects the importance of environmental issues to the coffee sector whether its the issue of Fairtrade in terms of sourcing, Kenco’s re-fill packs in partnership with recycling body Terracycle, or the controversial issue of recycling coffee hop cups which has lead to a comeback for the that 1970s stalwart – the foam plastic coffee cup. Coff
ee is something that matters to the people who drink it, and those people are also concerned about the environment.

For more information on Nespresso, the rise of coffee pods and the UK coffee market in general have a look at Mintel’s Coffee report, UK April 2011.