Nespresso’s Sustainability Pop-Up At Elements Proves How Used Coffee Capsules Can Have A Second Life
A chic Caran d’Ache pen. A sturdy Victorinox Swiss Army knife. These two items, seemingly unrelated, do have one thing in common—they are both crafted from recycled aluminium coffee capsules from Nespresso. This striking transformation of the tiny, malleable aluminium pods into tangible, permanent objects is the result of an ongoing commitment by the leading Swiss coffee brand to balance sustainability, style and innovation while continuing to produce the highest quality brews.
Sustainability and quality go hand-in-hand at Nespresso, where every step of the way from bean to cup is considered for its environmental and social impact. The reasons why Nespresso uses aluminium for its coffee capsules is twofold: the lightweight, nonreactive material is excellent at helping preserve the freshness and quality of the ground coffee, and it is one of the few natural resources that is infinitely recyclable. Each time the spent coffee capsule is recycled, it is separated into two components: the aluminium, which can be recreated into other products, and the used coffee grounds, which can be repurposed as compost.
This August, Nespresso are seeking to educate the wider public about their sustainability initiatives with a unique pop-up in Elements mall located in West Kowloon, where interactive workshops and informative videos and visual displays all come together to promote the idea of “The Capsule Journey”—the concept that even after each Nespresso capsule has fulfilled its purpose of consistently providing the highest quality coffee, the contents left behind can continue on to their second life.
The pop-up itself is designed with eco-consciousness in mind, too—a dramatic archway is filled with 264 mini herb plants, housed in Nespresso capsule-shaped Bionicraft pots that are crafted from food waste and recycled coffee grounds (which contribute to the stone-speckled effect of the pots). As they are 100% natural, the pots will eventually biodegrade and can be planted directly in soil—after the exhibition, the pots will be donated to the local Nespresso Farm in Sheung Shui to be used to fertilise crops. Don’t forget to look down, either, as the raised wood and glass platform of the pop-up space has enclosed 120,000 crushed recycled Nespresso capsules to create a dramatic confetti effect.
Visitors to the pop-up, which runs from now until August 11, will witness the possibilities of a sustainable approach and have the opportunity to take part in activities such as coffee masterclasses, herb planting sessions and aluminium up cycling workshops. The gallery space is divided into three distinct zones, where you can learn about Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality Programme (an initiative designed to aid farmers’ productivity and welfare), how recycled aluminium is transformed into second life products, and lastly the journey of spent coffee grounds that are repurposed as nitrogen-rich compost to help grow fruits and vegetables. Part of the resulting harvest from the farm is donated to food rescue and assistance charity Food Angel, who use the vegetables to create nutritious hot meals for underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. The company also donates all proceeds from the sale of Nespresso capsule recycling bags to Food Angel.
The aim of the pop-up is not only to shed light on Nespresso’s myriad initiatives, but to encourage real, tangible change by creating responsible habits. Nespresso users are able to learn more about how they can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by recycling their capsules, knowing that they are doing their part to reduce what is sent to landfill. As they say, "the last drop doesn't mean the last use."
To find out more about Nespresso’s commitment to sustainability, please visit: www.nespresso.com
The Capsule Journey by Nespresso runs from August 4 to 11, 2019 at Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon