By law, plastic coffee capsules that still contain coffee grounds after consumption do not belong in the yellow bag or yellow, the German separate collection for used lightweight packaging. But many manufacturers, including Nestlé and Tchibo, have decided to have their capsules voluntarily taken back via the dual system. This is an option that the German Circular Economy Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz) opens up to manufacturers, if it strengthens recycling. So end consumers can easily dispose of used capsules together with other plastic and metal packaging.
In lightweight packaging sorting facilities such as Veolia's in Rostock, the capsules are sorted together with other used packaging and then recycled. Together, the partners are working to improve sorting technology so that even more coffee capsules from the yellow bag find their way into the recycling process.
"By improving the sorting of plastic capsules, we are simultaneously advancing the sorting of other small packaging," explains Andreas Kappel, Head of Business Development at Der Grüne Punkt. "I am very grateful to our partners for the really excellent cooperation."
Caption: Researching together in one of the most advanced sorting facilities for lightweight packaging: Anna Lina Schütt, Jasmin Duensing, Tchibo, Andreas Kappel, Der Grüne Punkt, Bernd Büsing, Nestlé Germany, Hansjörg Nieß, Der Grüne Punkt (from right; photo: Der Grüne Punkt).