Planet Ark leads coffee capsule scheme with Nespresso and Woolworths Group

A consortium led by the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation to recycle coffee capsules is another beneficiary of the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF).

The funding will go towards the development of an industry-wide national product stewardship scheme for all coffee capsules available on the domestic market.  According to Planet Ark, the project is critical to raising recycling rates, reducing organic material in landfill and increasing access to collection points for a rapidly growing waste stream and already has the support of industry leaders including Vittoria, Kruger ANZ and Grinders Coffee.

Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko Ark said 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.”

Minister Evans noted that, “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 program, Planet Ark will lead a consortium including Nespresso and Woolworths Group. Nespresso brings the invaluable experience of running its own coffee capsule recycling program in Australia for many years. Woolworths Group will work with the project partners to evaluate the feasibility of in-store capsule collection and subsequent transport to recycling facilities.

Nespresso General Manager Jean-Marc Dragoli said the company was keen to see coffee capsule recycling offered industry-wide.

“We have developed a robust program which has been collecting and recycling them in Australia for 10 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 Kozlovic added develop innovative solutions like the Coffee Pod recycling initiative would make sustainable choices easier for our customers. “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.”

 

Coles plastic bags re-used to build carpark 

Coles and Victorian recycling organisations RED Group and Replas will install a concrete slab carpark made partly out of recycled soft plastics.

Presently under installation at Coles Horsham in regional Victoria, the carpark is the first commercial construction project in Australia to make use of Polyrok – a sustainable alternative to aggregate minerals used in concrete, such as stone.

Made from plastic bags and soft plastic packaging recovered from the REDcycle program, Polyrock has the potential to divert 105,000 tonnes of soft plastics from landfill each year, if used in commercial concrete projects across Australia, according to the venture partners.

Coles state construction manager Victoria Fiona Lloyd explained that this was the first time the product had been used in a commercial environment, “We know how important it is to support initiatives that help to close the loop with soft plastics.

“This project alone will help repurpose approximately 900,000 pieces of soft plastic, to be used in the carpark at the soon-to-be-competed Coles Horsham redevelopment.

“We’ve worked with RED Group, Replas and RMIT University throughout the whole development process and we’re excited to see how we can use this technology in more of our stores.”

Replas joint managing director Mark Jacobsen added that “Polyrok reduces the carbon footprint due to the reduced thermal mass it provides. This tackles the plastic problem and climate change all while being fit for purpose. If innovative products like this were adopted in all buildings and car parks, the collective reduction in greenhouse gasses would be enormous.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans said the welcomed the collaboration was welcome.

“There is huge potential and opportunity for infrastructure projects to help us build a more circular economy. This is why the Federal Government has prioritised the development of new national standards and guidelines to encourage the use of recycled content in roads and other projects.”

Coles is marking National Recycling Week with this and other initiatives including a new food waste diversion project in Queensland and new sustainability features at its latest supermarket in Chatswood, New South Wales.

Coles has worked with REDcycle since 2011, becoming the first major Australian supermarket to have REDcycle bins in every supermarket. Since the partnership began, Coles and its customers have diverted over 1.3 billion pieces of soft plastic from landfill.