Recycling – reuse rather than disposal

For us, acting as an environ­men­tally respon­sible and resource-conserving company means reusing materials whenever possible – either for the same purpose or for a whole new area of use. Our guiding principle is: “Add value to the packaging through innovative design.”

Coffee capsule recycling: from capsules to dishwashing brush

Coffee packaging has to preserve the flavour and therefore must meet exacting require­ments. There is less leeway for devel­oping new, eco-friendlier packaging than with many other foods. Coffee-capsule systems in particular are always being criti­cised for the waste they generate.

In early 2015, we teamed up with the Öko-Institut e.V. for a compre­hensive accounting and analysis to determine the environ­mental footprint of the Cafissimo coffee capsule system. We managed to gradually improve the capsules used for our Cafissimo coffee capsule system by reducing the aluminium content in the packaging and switching to recyclable foil and interior paintsin accor­dance with the dual systems in such a way that all capsules are now recyclable. Customers can now dispose of used capsules in the “yellow bags” commonly used for disposing of packaging materials, and recycling companies can recycle them. At the beginning of 2017, we added household products such as a dishwashing brush made of recycled plastic, the material Cafissimo capsules are also made of, to our product range. The recycling of materials and the re-use ‘massbalance’ are clearly visible and traceable for the customer on the packaging. By showing the connection with the capsules’ recycla­bility, we seek to increase our customers’ awareness of closed-loop approaches.

Textiles recycling: the FairW­ertung network

Under the heading ‘GUT GEMACHT weiter gedacht’ (DONE IN A GOOD WAY – taking ‘good’ one step further), we are advocate sustainable consumption, and give customers tips on care, repair or upcycling of our products. We point to recycling possi­bil­ities where shoe or clothes disposal is unavoidable. For the sustainable delivery and reuse of textiles, we have therefore cooperated with FairW­ertung e.V., a feder­ation of non-profit organi­za­tions for the collection of clothing based on ecological and social criteria, since 2017. We recommend that our customers collect and deliver old clothing only to organi­za­tions that collect according to FairW­ertung standards: The sorted items of clothing are given to second-hand clothes stores at fair prices. Surpluses are sold to textile sorting companies, where they are sorted for inter­na­tional second-hand markets. Textiles that are no longer fit for this purpose are recycled into cleaning rags or raw materials. FairW­ertung organ­i­sa­tions are nonprofit and support social projects with their sales proceeds.