I. Collecting and recycling used capsules
Our focus is to make it as easy as possible for our Club Members to return used capsules for recycling. We started putting our own capsules collection systems in place in Switzerland in 1991. Today, in Switzerland, there are more than 2,400 collection points in our boutiques, local waste collection centres, retail outlets and street collection points.
But the complexities of the recycling process and logistics of capsule recovery, coupled with varying levels of public engagement and legislation, make a standardized approach to recycling difficult. Our AluCycle™ initiative approaches this challenge from two angles. First, introducing new collection systems for small-size aluminium packaging such as capsules and second, forming new partnerships to promote the development of more sustainable aluminium production.
In a very few cases, capsules can be collected through national packaging recovery schemes. Since 1993, in Germany, used capsules can be collected and processed through the Duales System Deutschland packaging waste system, which recycles around 82% of all aluminium packaging in Germany. This is also available in Sweden, through the Green Dot waste scheme.
However, in most EU markets, capsules cannot currently be collected through regular packaging recovery and recycling schemes. In these cases, we explore the possibility of developing our own capsule retrieval systems. This has already happened in France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. In the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and the UK, we have capsule collection systems in place in the cities where we have boutiques. And a further ten countries, including Hungary and South Korea, have confirmed they will start a dedicated capsule collection system in 2011.
At the same time, we are working with our partners to put forward the case that used capsules should be categorised as packaging (and not a product), which would therefore allow them to be collected in packaging recycling schemes. And while we are working on this, we are also implementing new technology solutions. For instance, in France, where small-size packaging cannot always be processed in packaging sorting centres, we have been testing an electromagnetic system that separates small-scale aluminium packaging (such as capsules, pet food containers and bottle tops) from other waste, allowing the capsules to be recycled.
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