From Coffee Bean to Rice Kernel

The areas where Gruppo Iren - an Italian electricity, gas, and environmental services provider - manages the integrated waste cycle have witnessed advances in the efforts and achievements of Nespresso in the circular economy project to recover and recycle aluminium coffee capsules in collaboration with CiAl (National Aluminium Packaging Consortium).
, Ciai Utilitalia (federation of public water, environmental, electricity, and gas service companies), and CIC (Italian Composters Consortium), Nespresso has created the programme “Da Chicco a Chicco” [From Coffee Bean to Rice Kernel] to recover and give a second life to used coffee capsules, recycling/reprocessing the two constituents: aluminium and coffee grounds. The aluminium is recycled and the coffee is composted and used to fertilize a rice field in the Province of Novara. The rice grown in the field is then purchased by Nespresso and donated to the Food Banks in Lombardy and Lazio.
Thanks to this initiative, in the first half of 2021, nearly 94 tons of aluminium capsules were recovered in the areas where Gruppo Iren operates, marking growth everywhere with respect to the same period in the previous year. This outcome is added to the positive results achieved throughout Italy, which have made it possible to reach the milestone of 800 tons of aluminium capsules recovered by Nespresso in the first half of 2021. This represents 29% more - more than 177 tons of used capsules - than the same period in the previous year, which, in turn, marked an increase over the first half of 2019, when 715 tons of capsules were collected.
In the areas it services, Gruppo Iren handles collection of capsules delivered by consumers to the Nespresso sales outlets, as provided by the agreement with CiAl; the collected material is then recycled/reprocessed by the Consortium.