Coffee Manufacturer Tackles Pod Waste with Recycling Program

(Credit: Gavina Gourmet Coffee)

by | Apr 20, 2020

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(Credit: Gavina Gourmet Coffee)

Recognizing that single-serve coffee pods have a significant environmental impact, F. Gaviña & Sons is launching an initiative that will allow consumers to send in their coffee pods and espresso capsules to be recycled. Users sign up for the program online and are sent a prepaid shipping label to mail in the used pods and capsules. Once collected, the packaging is cleaned, separated by material type, melted and remolded to make new recycled products; the residual coffee is sent to an industrial composting facility.

By sending in shipments through the program, consumers earn points that can be used for charitable gifts or converted to cash and donated to non-profits, schools or charitable organizations of their choice.

F. Gaviña & Sons, makers of Don Francisco’s Coffee, Café La Llave, and other family-crafted coffees, has teamed up with international recycling company TerraCycle for the coffee pod recycling program. Participating customers – including individuals, schools, offices and community organizations – mail the pods directly to TerraCycle for cleaning and recycling.

The question of the sustainability of coffee — from the growth of the coffee itself to the sustainability of the supply chain and of retail outlets to end-of-life considerations — is one that those in the coffee industry have increasingly been taking seriously. Nespresso, for example, announced last year a bid to restore high-quality coffee production in regions that have come under threat due to factors like environmental disaster, economic hardship or political conflict; the company is investing $9.8 million to provide farmers with training and material that will help them improve coffee yield and quality. Nespresso also has a coffee capsule recycling program.

In 2019, Target announced its involvement in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a collective that aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee. With this, Target has made a commitment to earn certification for 100% of its Archer Farms coffee in both bags and pods by 2022.

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