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Coffee culture brews up a headache

Australia – Nespresso’s advertising campaign starring actor George Clooney has helped the coffee-capsule market grow ‘almost 1000%’ over the last five years, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. But this burgeoning industry in Australia is also turning into an environmental headache, consumer watchdogs have warned.

The ′Clooney effect′ has ′almost single-handedly launched an entire new waste stream globally′, says Jon Dee, head of environmental group DoSomething and founder of National Recycling Week. He intends to confront coffee powerhouse Nespresso in order to find out exactly what it is doing to recycle the popular aluminium cups and how its sustainability programme holds up.

Dee isn′t the only one concerned about the ′craze of the pods′. Geoff Parker, head of the Australian Beverages Council, reveals that Australians drink up to 5 billion cups of coffee a year and that the beverage now counts as the ′most consumed′ in the country after water.

Meanwhile, Nespresso is encouraging coffee fans to return used pods to one of the 12 Nespresso boutiques around Australia. Also, the company cites the results of a 2011 espresso coffee life-cycle analysis, saying its recycled capsules represent ′the option with the lowest environmental impacts′ when compared to other such cups on the market.


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