How harmful are nestlé coffee capsules to the environment? Sustainability of Coffee – Schlaumal

How harmful are nestlé coffee capsules to the environment? Sustainability of Coffee  – Schlaumal

Welcome to Schlaumal. How harmful are coffee capsules to the environment? Coffee is the second most consumed beverage
in the world after water. In the past, coffee used to be served in a
coffee pot. Today, convenient single serving sizes are
the latest craze. Swiss food corporation Nestlé was the first
to come up with the idea of ​​serving sized coffee. The resulting coffee system, Nespresso, is
a billion-dollar business. But why is the capsule coffee so popular? Probably most people would answer: “Because
it is so convenient.” Convenient yes, but the colorful capsules
also come with a higher price. One capsule costs around $0.70 and contains
approx. 5 grams of coffee. The kilo therefore costs $140. Not bad. Even more interesting is to question its effects
on the environment, as the use of aluminum for the capsules is rather problematic. Nespresso has already launched various sustainability
initiatives. However, critics think all the enterprise
is interested in is a greener image. 1. Coffee production in general
But let’s start from scratch: The coffee production itself is damaging to the environment. It is clear that: Jungle is cleared to create
areas for cultivation. Important biospheres are destroyed and the
soil is exposed to erosion. Fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides are
used, which pollute the groundwater and reduce the biodiversity. The coffee is shipped, roasted, packaged and
transported to the customers. This results in a total of 50 to 100 grams
of CO2 per cup. Coffee is also uses up a lot of water. To produce 1 kg of coffee, you need 21,000
liters of water. This is more than 140 liters per cup. For comparison: A cup of tea is produced with
only 30 liters of water. 2. The aluminum packaging
Another problem with coffee in aluminum capsules is the packaging. The aluminum is extracted from the ore bauxite
in an extremely energy-intensive manner. 90% of these ore deposits are located in the
tropical belt. This means that the rainforest is cleared
as well. In order to obtain one kilogram of aluminum,
14 kilowatt hours of electrical energy is required. This releases 8.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. As a waste product, millions of tons of toxic
red mud are produced every year, which mostly consists of sodium hydroxide and heavy metals. As there are hardly any further processing
possibilities for the toxic mud, it is stored in large lakes or it is piped into rivers. The affected ecosystems are dying and the
ground water is poisoned. So much for the production process! Once the aluminum capsules have been made,
the next problem arises: Huge amounts of garbage! According to the media, Nespresso has sold
at least eight billion coffee capsules worldwide in 2013. At a weight of 1.13 grams per capsule, this
makes a total weight of 9,000 tons per year! This is a huge amount of aluminum waste which
makes the steel skeleton of the Eiffel tower with its 7,300 tons turn green with envy. Nespresso does not see this as a problem. According to the corporation, aluminum is
a metal that can be recycled 100% without loss of quality and for recycled aluminum,
it takes only five percent of the energy needed to produce new aluminum. They are able to recycle more than 75% of
the capsules sold worldwide. 3. The recycling problem
Environmentalists doubt, however, that this figure could even be nearly achieved in practice. Many people do not know that the capsules
can be recycled. This way, the valuable aluminum is mixed with
the normal household waste and lost for recycling. Not to mention the fact that in many countries,
there is no way to recycle at all. And even if 75% of the capsules were recycled;
this would only make clear that 25% of the aluminum would still not be re-used. In 2013, at least 2000 tons ended up in the
garbage. Many critics express the accusation that – no
matter how high the recycling rate may be – mainly new aluminum is used for the capsules. Recycling itself costs energy as well. Per ton of aluminum, 1300 kWh of electricity
and 1700 liters of water are consumed. In view of the fact that you normally do not
need aluminum for cooking coffee at all, all these aspects should make you think! And there is no end to the boom in sight. More and more companies want to enter the
capsule business. In addition, plastic capsules are just as
harmful to the environment, as crude oil must be extracted. Be that as it may, the trash will continue
to grow … What can we as consumers do to make a change? Here are 3 ways to make your coffee more sustainable: 1. Use organic and fair trade coffee. 2. Do not heat more water than necessary. 3. Use a French press or a similar system. If you liked this video, make sure to like,
share, and subscribe. Thanks for watching and see you next time.

2 thoughts on “How harmful are nestlé coffee capsules to the environment? Sustainability of Coffee – Schlaumal

  1. Little bit of a learning curve for us novices, but Cafe quality drinks. It looks beautiful>>> and is made solid. Just about commercial grade. A lovely Christmas gift for your Mocha monster.

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