For some years now, the growth of coffee in capsules has been unstoppable. The speed and convenience of this type of coffee, together with the result they offer, has made more and more people choose it despite the fact that it is more expensive.
But not all that glitters is gold and, beyond the comfort that they can bring us, they cause enormous damage to the environment and difficulties in processing the large amount of waste they cause. There are many people who wonder where to recycle coffee capsules , but do we know if it is really possible to do it? In the following EcologiaVerde article we will explain it to you.
- Are coffee capsules recyclable?
- Where are coffee capsules recycled?
- Crafts to recycle coffee capsules
Are coffee capsules recyclable?
Before asking ourselves where to recycle coffee capsules, we must ask ourselves a first question, and this is none other than whether they can really be recycled. Coffee is the second most consumed product in the world, only surpassed by oil. If we add these data to the fact that during the last 10 years the sale of capsules has increased by 26% and to the forecasts that in the near future it will exceed soluble and ground coffee, we can get used to the idea of the large amount of residue that causes this coffee modality all over the planet.
The question of whether coffee capsules are recyclable is somewhat complex. The simple answer is no, since most are not . There are others that although they are recyclable, they are not recyclable through the usual channels, public containers, and can only be recycled by the same company that distributes them , and must be taken to the collection points that they themselves enable. Finally, in recent years, coffee companies have appeared that manufacture compostable capsules that, yes, can be recycled, however, they are not by far the best sellers.
Anyway, every hour around a million capsules are thrown into the trash around the world, 7 billion capsules per year that cannot be recycled and that cause a great problem at the environmental level. Even the creator of the K-cup , the best-selling single-dose capsule in the US, has complained about the great impact that his invention causes and has stated that he regrets his invention. In the case of its capsules, it states that despite what the manufacturers say, they are not recyclable.
Where are coffee capsules recycled?
Spain is one of the countries in the world that consumes the most coffee capsules, in fact, it is the third, only surpassed by the US and Italy. In fact, so much so that more coffee is drunk from the capsules than is served in all the restaurants, bars and coffee shops combined. If we take into account that there are a million and a half Spaniards who drink between 2 and 3 capsules of coffee every day, we can get an idea of the amount of waste that is generated daily.
But the problem is no longer only the number of capsules that are generated daily, but the vast majority of consumers are unaware of the way in which it should be recycled and do it incorrectly. To begin with, these capsules are not considered a container, which is why they do not have to be thrown into the yellow container .
If it is true that there are some companies that have their own collection system, this is the case of Nespresso, the main distributor of these capsules. However, it is estimated that less than 20% of customers use this recycling system. In turn, the company hopes to recycle 100% of the capsules by 2020.
Assuming that these capsules are not ecological, from an environmental point of view it is quite absurd to generate such amount of waste to make coffee when there are clean ways to make coffee. However, there is a less harmful alternative to continue using the capsules, and this is none other than opting for those biodegradable that between 1 and 3 months can be converted into compost.
Crafts to recycle coffee capsules
Fortunately, there is something that we do have at our disposal: ingenuity and imagination. Since these capsules began to become popular, many people have dedicated themselves to finding new uses , most of them decorative, to give this residue a second life and make all kinds of utensils: jewelry, artificial flowers or even slippers.
If you take a look online, you can find how to make crafts with coffee capsules , a good way to reuse this residue and, who knows, maybe you can start a new business.
Beyond the plastic itself and the aluminum of the capsules, organic elements , that is, coffee grounds, can also be reused in our home. In the following EcologiaVerde article we will explain different ways to use coffee leftovers in the garden .
If you want to read more articles similar to Where to recycle coffee capsules , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .