Coffee companies representing 90% of the Dutch market have set up an association to encourage the recycling of used coffee capsules, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.
Eight coffee firms, including Nespresso, JDE, Nestlé and Ahold Delhaize, aim to increase the percentage of raw materials in the aluminium capsules that is recycled from 25% to 75% by 2026.
The recycling rate for plastic cups, which account for 25% of the market should go up from 5% to 60%, the new association says.
Some 30% of the Dutch use the capsules to make coffee, creating some 1.9 billion empty capsules a year, most of which contain a thin layer of aluminium. Currently most end up being burnt in waste incinerators.
Waste processor Omrin, based in Heerenveen, has now developed a separation system that can remove the coffee capsules for recycling, using a magnet, sieve and infrared scanner. Talks are also underway with the other four Dutch waste processing firms, said Lisanne Evers, director of the newly launched Koffiecapsule Recycling Nederland (KCR-NL)
In total, the new foundation hopes to collect 1.5 million kilos of aluminium using the system on an annual basis.
“A side effect is that the system also sorts out four times more non-ferrous metals – such as tea light containers and pill strips – than is currently being collected,” Evers told the paper.
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