Kenco is behind the latest major move to encourage the recycling of coffee packs. The company is a partner in the British launch of Terracycle, an American concept which ‘rewards’ recyclers by donations to charities of their choice.
The move has been announced in New York during a visit by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.
The Terracycle concept was devised by Tom Szaky, a student who founded his scheme as part of a college project, and then dropped out of education to concentrate on making it work.
The theory rests on consumers’ willingness to return used packaging to Terracycle, which pays for the waste material which it then turns into another saleable product. In the States, six million consumers are registered as returning used packaging.
In the British project, Terracycle will pay 2p to charity for every used pack of Kenco Singles, Tassimo or Eco Refill that participants collect. Those packs will be converted into bags and plant pots which can be bought on Terracycle’s website – typically, the Kenco tote bag will sell at £7.
The body of the tote is made from ‘upcycled’ Kenco Coffee Eco refill wrappers. The first ones have been made from unusable wrappers that have been damaged or misprinted, and instead of putting them into landfill, Kenco donated them to be fused together into what is a thick and robust material suitable for a fairly heavy-duty bag.
Kenco is now looking at the possibilities of following the initial consumer work with a project to encourage packs to be returned through foodservice.
By Ian Boughton