Nespresso highlights recycling disparity between urban and rural areas

UK city dwellers are suffering from a lack of confidence over their ability to recycle, citing confusion and a lack of bin infrastructure as reasons why urban recycling rates are lagging in comparison to suburban and rural areas.

Nespresso has already moved to alleviate recycling concerns in London, where it is trialling coffee capsule recycling schemes

Nespresso has already moved to alleviate recycling concerns in London, where it is trialling coffee capsule recycling schemes

New research published today (5 June) by Nespresso surveyed 10,200 people, supplemented by information from WRAP and SUEZ. The survey found that while 61% of urban-based respondents revealed that they recycle daily, 33% wish they could recycle more.

People living in urban areas cited a lack of bins and information as to why they can’t recycle with ease. Almost a third of residents living in flats find the recycling process hard, while 91% of people living in detached homes find recycling easy.  

Nespresso claims that the research could provide insight into the UK’s low recycling rates, which fell in England for the first-time last year to less than 44%.

Nespresso’s managing director Francisco Nogueira said: “living in cities has many benefits, however Nespresso’s Consumer Attitudes to Recycling Report shows that ease of recycling is not one of them. With such a large proportion of us living in cities, it’s crucial to develop clear information with an accessible infrastructure to help people living in all areas to achieve their recycling goals.”

Around 74% of respondents living in rural areas claim to recycle daily compared to 52% living in flats. Of those living in flats, 15% admit to not being confident about surrounding recycling infrastructure and access compared to just 3% living in detached homes.

According to the research, the system needs to be “improved and simplified”, with the data highlighting the disparity between areas across the UK. Specifically, Nespresso calls for clearer information about recycling practices and processes.

Capturing the capsules 

Nespresso has already moved to alleviate recycling concerns in London. Famous for its coffee capsules, which were traditionally difficult to separate and recycle, Nespresso has launched a six-month pilot project to recycle aluminium coffee capsules in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The UK consumes more than 340 million coffee capsules a year, but most of these pods cannot be recycled at the kerbside. Traditional aluminium capsules contain a fabric filter which can be difficult to separate and therefore hinders the recycling processes, while plastic pods are equally complex with two or three layers of material.

The trial follows Nespresso’s dedicated recycling network, established seven years ago, which allows customers to request a collection for used capsules, or drop them off at collection points across the country.

“At Nespresso, we have systems in place which means 100% of our capsules can be recycled irrespective of where you live – and consumer participation is vital,” Nogueira said. “From in-store drop off to doorstep collection, we’re actively working across the globe with local and national bodies to ensure that Nespresso reduces the amount of capsules that end up in landfill.”

As part of the new pilot, consumers in Kensington can leave used capsules in a Nespresso recycling bag next to their normal waste, which is collected twice a week by the local council.

Matt Mace


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| Data | WRAP | waste management

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Waste & resource management
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