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TerraCycle has recycled more than 1.5 million coffee capsules in Australia, a weight which the company says is roughly equivalent to one and a half African elephants.

Launched in Australia in 2014, the free Nescafé Dolce Gusto Capsule Recycling Program offers more benefits than just environmental ones, according to Jean Bailliard, general manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand.

“Through the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Capsule Recycling Program, collectors earn 2 points or $0.02 per capsule for the school or non-profit organisation of their choice.

“To date, more than $27,000 has been raised for schools and charities in Australia through all our free recycling programs, proving that every capsule counts when it comes to this initiative,” he said.

The program has seen success in locations as remote as Christmas Island, where Tess Martin of the Indian Ocean Group Training Association (IOGTA) says collecting coffee capsules is an important way to protect the island’s environment.

“We have a very limited ability to recycle most household waste. This recycling scheme is an excellent way of sending back to the mainland at least one item that can be re-purposed rather than going to landfill.

“Christmas Island is sixty-three per cent national park and 1500 kilometres from Western Australia, and we’re keen to look after our island home,” said Martin.

Bryan Win, marketing manager for Nescafé Dolce Gusto, said he was “delighted” that Australians had embraced the program.

“It’s great to give these used capsules a second life by turning them into recycled materials that can be transformed into planter boxes, playground equipment and park benches. Each recycled capsule also has the power to benefit schools and not-for-profits through the program’s donation initiative,” he said.

More than $45 million has been raised for schools and non-profits through TerraCycle’s free recycling programs around the world.

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