Nescafé Sustainability Packaging

FAQs

Nescafé Packaging

Our vision is to achieve a waste-free future and we are committed to making 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Over 7 billion cups of NESCAFÉ coffee are drunk by our consumers every year, in the UK alone, meaning that 141 million units of our packaging end up in our consumers’ hands every year. Our passion for reducing our environmental impact as a business means we have a clear vision towards a waste free future, driving towards a cyclical economy, one that reuses, rather than disposes of the materials in our world. We have a clear commitment of ensuring all of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.

At NESCAFÉ, we’ve built a roadmap which focuses on 4 key areas of improvement:

  • Enabling Pods recycling (11% of our unrecyclable materials)
  • Making Flexible films recyclable (44% of our unrecyclable materials)
  • Removing composite materials from our portfolio (6% of our unrecyclable materials)
  • Reducing use of plastic and removing black plastic from our packaging materials

As of January 2019, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto became fully recyclable nationwide with the introduction of a partnership with CollectPlus. Pods purchased from our online webshop are supplied with a recycling bag which can be returned to any CollectPlus venue, be it a local shop, petrol stations, universities or shopping centres. The recycled pods will be used to make new items like plastic park benches, fences or decking.

Flexible films are used every year to make our refill packs, in 1 and frothy coffee sachets but currently none of these can be recycled. Due to the nature of coffee oxidisation, we require additional barrier properties in our packaging than other products. It is these layers which make some of our packaging materials, such as flexible films, hard to recycle. To drive towards our commitment, we are working on developing single layer materials, which still protect our products whilst still giving consumers the quality the expect. We are also working with teracycle, a recycling company in the UK, on developing infrastructure to enable recycling of flexible films.

Finally, we are making changes to our portfolio to ensure all of our packaging formats not only can be recycled, but are recycled. We have removed 876T of black plastic from our NESCAFÉ Gold range, enabled 147 more tonnes of plastic to be recycled with a small tweak to our NESCAFÉ Original range and are looking at completely plastic free alternatives for parts of our portfolio.

FAQs

Why are all your products not recyclable?

Due to the nature of coffee oxidisation, we require additional barrier properties in our packaging than other products. It is these layers which make some of our packaging materials, such as flexible films, hard to recycle.

Why do we not use compostable laminates like other coffee brands?

Nestlé is intensifying research into every aspect of packaging science to deliver the packaging of tomorrow, through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences. This includes research into biodegradability as part of the overall research strategy. Historically, biodegradable materials have presented challenges in consumer application, as they have not consistently broken down or have contaminated other waste streams. We want to ensure that all packaging materials we develop can be used and disposed of easily by consumers, without having a negative environmental impact. The Institute will conduct world-class research to fundamentally rethink packaging materials and how we use them to deliver longer-term sustainable solutions.

Which of your products are recyclable?

39% of our products are recyclable including all board, plastic and glass items. Our capsules are not recyclable through collect plus. If a product contains a laminate or a composite material then it is either difficult to or not recyclable.

Why is this only available for web sales customers?

During our six month trial, web orders will be the easiest way to distribute the special pink bags required for collection. 

What about the people who buy their pods from the supermarket?

The trial is a first step and is open to all consumers who shop on the NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO webshop, at no extra cost. We aim to roll out more recycling services to meet our NESTLÉ commitment of zero waste to landfill and that all of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.

I buy my pods from the supermarket, how can I recycle them?

The special pink bags will only be available from the Nescafé Dolce Gusto webshop for time being. We aim to roll out more recycling services to meet our NESTLÉ commitment of zero waste to landfill and that all of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.​

What will happen to the pods when they are recycled? Will they make new pods?

The recycled pods will be used to make new items like plastic park benches, fences or decking. 

Are the pods being recycled here in the UK or proceeded abroad?

In the UK.

How are you encouraging people to recycle more pods?

We have a goal to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. We acknowledge that CollectPlus will need to be joined by others schemes to meet this ambition in the future.

This is a first step towards this goal. The CollectPlus system will allow more consumers than ever before to return their pods at more than 7,500 outlets across the country.