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Grounds for renewal: Unexpected second lives of used Nespresso capsules

Sustainability is the order of the day, says Nespresso Singapore's country manager Han May.

Sustainability is a key concept in any progressive business, at least any today that has hopes of attracting millennial consumers, but what if the business itself concerns a product that is waste-generating? The answer for Nespresso, one of the market leaders in the single-serve coffee pod industry, is committing to a comprehensive recycling programme.

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In Singapore, used coffee grounds end up at Quan Fa Organic Farm, where they serve as compost for organic farming. The used aluminium pods can be dropped off at Nespresso boutiques or given to the Nespresso delivery man for recycling.

Aluminium components are infinitely recyclable, says Han May, country manager of Nespresso Singapore. Research and development efforts have realised such items as Victorinox Swiss army knives and Caran d’Ache pens featuring casing bodies made from recycled aluminium pods.

Shoppers visiting the coffee giant’s new store at Vivocity Singapore will also find countertops made from compacted coffee grounds, a material that took Nespresso a year to develop, says Han.

By the end of the year, 69 new stores globally are expected to be fitted with this unusual construction material.

Certainly, re-using your own trash is one way of earning public approval.

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