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Costa Sets Ambitious Goal to Recycle a Whopping Eight Tonnes of Single-Use Coffee Pods Annually!

March 29, 2024
Costa Sets Ambitious Goal to Recycle a Whopping Eight Tonnes of Single-Use Coffee Pods Annually! - Cafecapsules U45670131582QDD - Environment -

Recycling Initiative for Coffee Capsules on the Costa del Sol

The Mancomunidad association of town halls on the western Costa del Sol has revealed plans to begin recycling used coffee capsules. The disposal of these capsules has seen a significant increase in recent years.

Partnership with Urbaser and Arecafé

Urbaser, a recycling company based in Costa del Sol, has entered into a partnership with Arecafé. Arecafé is a non-profit organization established by 24 coffee-producing companies to address the collection and recycling of coffee capsule waste. The agreement will allow Urbaser to collect and recycle the capsules that are brought to their facility.

Challenges in Recycling Coffee Capsules

Manuel Cardeña, the president of the Mancomunidad, highlighted the difficulties in recycling coffee capsules. Due to their small size, these capsules often go undetected by machinery at treatment plants. He emphasized the need for consumers to dispose of these capsules at specific collection points set up by the manufacturers, similar to the disposal of batteries.

Misplacement of Coffee Capsules

Currently, many people incorrectly dispose of their used coffee capsules in the general waste or yellow plastics recycling containers. Cardeña believes that the proper recycling of these capsules will help achieve the European Union’s goal of reducing landfill waste to only 10 percent by 2035.

Future Plans for Coffee Capsule Recycling

At present, the recycling of coffee capsules is done manually. However, plans are underway to install an induction separator on the single-dose line to mechanically recover the capsules. It is projected that 170 kilos of capsules will be recycled weekly, amounting to over eight tonnes annually.

Agreement with Arecafé

Cardeña noted that the agreement with Arecafé includes the management of the collection and final treatment of the waste coffee capsules at no cost to the Mancomunidad or Urbaser. He stressed the importance of this agreement in providing environmental solutions and encouraging consumers to recycle.

Collection Points for Used Coffee Capsules

Arecafé, through the Circularcaps network, currently has over 4,250 collection points for used coffee capsules across Spain, with around 400 in Andalucía. Once deposited at these points, the capsules are transported to authorized recyclers.

Recycling Process of Coffee Capsules

The recycling process involves grinding the capsules to separate the coffee inside. The capsules are then opened and emptied, and the materials are separated. The aluminium is melted down and reused, while the plastic is crushed into pellets for the production of new materials. The coffee grounds are used to produce compost for agricultural use.

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