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Wake-up call on coffee capsules

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Eurobodalla residents can help the brewing environmental problem caused by coffee capsules by sending them off for free to be recycled.

Recycling company TerraCycle offers a range of programs funded by manufacturing companies where residents can ship certain items not accepted in yellow-lidded home recycling bins to be recycled for free.

These include oral care products, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, kids’ food pouches, soft plastic mail satchels, beauty product packaging and coffee capsules.

Some of the programs even offer reward points that can be redeemed for donations to non-profit organisations and schools.

TerraCycle currently runs free collection programs on Aldi’s Expressi coffee pods, Nescafe’s Nespresso and Dolce Gusto capsules, and L’OR coffee capsules.

Expressi and Dolce Gusto capsules, made of plastic, and L’OR’s aluminium capsules can be posted for free by printing a shipping label from TerraCycle’s website. Each brand of capsule must be posted separately in either a sealed plastic bag or be completely dry. The capsules are then shredded to separate the coffee grounds from the plastic/aluminium, which is reused to make new recycled products.

Nespresso coffee capsules can be dropped off at a growing number of collection points. While the closest collection points are at Cooma, Canberra and Kiama, local garden centres, florists and nurseries can register as drop-off locations and post them free of charge.

It is estimated Australians consume around three million single-serve coffee capsules every day and it can take up to 500 years for them to breakdown in landfill.

Real espresso coffee or plunger coffee has none of the waste issues of coffee capsules and waste coffee grounds can be composted.

For more information about TerraCycle’s programs visit www.terracycle.com.au and click on ‘Recycle Your Waste’.