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Nespresso to launch paper-compostable coffee capsules

nespresso boxes
Nespresso is one of Nestlé's biggest brands, with 2021 sales of CHF6.4 billion ($6.7 billion), and also one of its most profitable. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The Swiss coffee brand Nespresso plans to trial paper-based compostable capsules next year in Switzerland and France.

Nespresso, which makes home coffee machines, pods and accessories, will launch paper-based capsules that can be composted at home “in France and Switzerland in 2023” before spreading out to other markets in 2024, Nespresso chief executive Guillaume Le Cunff told AFP news agency on Monday.

The compressed paper pulp pods, which took three years to develop, will not replace existing aluminium pods but rather offer “an alternative” for those who want to compost their capsules rather than having to take them to recycling points or back to the shop, he said.

Despite the option to return used aluminium pods to Nespresso stores, critics claim many people still throw them in the garbage without being recycled, generating thousands of tonnes of waste annually.

Nespresso is one of Nestlé’s biggest brands, with 2021 sales of CHF6.4 billion ($6.7 billion), and also one of its most profitable. After surging sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nespresso has nonetheless seen growth slowing.

Other coffee firms have also started experimenting with compostable coffee pods, such as US coffee specialist Keurig and Switzerland’s biggest retailer Migros, which in September unveiled compostable balls of compressed coffee covered with a thin film made from algae.

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