What Happens After You Enjoy Your Coffee Using An iperEspresso Capsule?

Mark Romano, Senior Director of Education, Quality and Sustainability for illycaffè North America, explains the benefits of drinking capsule prepared espresso and how illy has worked to address the growing concerns over the waste created by single-serve systems by launching RENEW, the iperEspresso capsule recycle program.

Firstly, it seems natural to ask why use illy capsules to begin with?

Illy has always distinguished itself for its endless research for excellence in the field of espresso coffee. IperEspresso technology paired with the unparalleled quality of the illy blend guarantees a consistently perfect espresso without any risk of making mistakes or compromising on flavor. Short of hiring your own barista, this is the best espresso solution for your home.

As you mentioned, illy is notorious for setting standards in espresso, how does RENEW, the recycle program, fall within this?

For illy, sustainability – environmental, economic and social – and the pursuit of higher quality go hand in hand. RENEW, the iperEspresso capsule recycle program, allows illy to set a new standard in coffee-related waste management and offers our customers an ongoing, rewarding and positive solution which is intrinsic to illy's core values.

From what I understand, this isn't illy's first effort in driving sustainability?

That's correct, illy has been a leader in sustainability for the past two decades. The first initiative was pioneering direct trade over 20 years ago, whereby illy trades directly with the farmers who are guaranteed a profit on all purchases. Additionally, illy has developed a system of knowledge transfer though UDC for improving agricultural practices protecting the environment while improving quality, leading to illy becoming the world's first company to earn the Responsible Supply Chain Process certification from DNV (Det Norske Veritas) in March of 2011. This was followed by illy being honored by the Ethisphere Institute this year as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. Having a capsule recycling program fits naturally into illy's ongoing sustainability efforts.

What is the RENEW process like? What happens to the used capsules?

The coffee inside the capsules will be composted and added to garden soil, and the plastic from the capsule will be recycled into products such as park benches, pavers and composite lumber.

Here's how Food Republic readers can access the RENEW, iperEspresso capsule recycle program:

· illy a casaSM Members: Direct home delivery customers who are members of illy a casa can receive a complimentary welcome kit including collection bags and pre-paid shipping labels with their recurring coffee shipments.

· Retail Store Drop Off: Consumers will be able to bring their used capsules to participating retailers, including Sur La Table, and place them in a designated receptacle. The store will ship the capsules to TerraCycle.

· Purchase a Recycle Kit: If you are not an illy a casa member and there are no participating retail stores near you, you can purchase a capsule recycle kit by calling illy Customer Care at 1-877-469-4559.

Click here for more information on RENEW.