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Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

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Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Apr 19 2014, 18:49

Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign


In marketing terms it's a match made in moneymaking heaven - but George Clooney, king of cool turned emperor of the coffee-pod people, may be serving up a less-than-perfect brew as a caffeine pitchman. Clooney promotes a product whose invasion of our homes may come with serious environmental consequences.
Now, Clooney's corporate partner Nespresso - market leader in a coffee-capsule sector that has grown by almost 1000 per cent in five years - faces having to defend its ''sustainability program'' to the federal consumer watchdog.
Jon Dee - head of environmental group DoSomething and founder of National Recycling Week, Planet Ark and National Tree Day - says he will write to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission next week asking it to investigate the truth of the company's recycling advertising.


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Illustration: Matt Golding.
A series of Nespresso sustainability advertisements featuring the company's recycling program use Clooney - appearances in addition to his commercials plugging the ubiquitous aluminium coffee pods that are causing the waste problem, alongside the plastic pods made by some of Nespresso's competitors.
''George Clooney has almost single-handedly launched an entire new waste stream globally as a result of fronting the Nespresso adverts,'' Mr Dee said. ''It shows the Clooney effect has undoubtedly been enormous in this. But George Clooney - for a guy who is so switched on to civil rights and other issues - to lead the charge in causing such environmental damage and waste and other issues is really disappointing.''
Australia has embraced the pod phenomenon as fervently as the rest of the world - industry analysts say it's about taking our ''cafe culture'' into the home, with capsule machines making it easy to brew a decent cup with little mess or fuss - but lots of new household waste. For the coffee industry, ''the Clooney effect'' has been a gold mine - but it now faces the headache of dealing with the consequences of a stunningly rapid shift in consumer behaviour.


Geoff Parker, head of the Australian Beverages Council, says ''the craze of the pods'' is driving at-home coffee consumption. ''Certainly the Clooney factor would have to be a contributing reason why that sector has increased so much.'' Mr Parker says coffee is now the most consumed beverage in the land, second only to water. ''It makes up 15 per cent of all the beverages that we drink. We drink 5 billion cups of coffee a year.''
Jon Dee sees the water comparison as apt. ''In some ways the coffee pods are the new bottled water. It has a huge impact environmentally and at the same time rips off consumers. The cost of the product is way above what previously existed.''
Melbourne coffee manufacturer Jeff Carlin, whose Carlini Coffee Company products include capsules compatible for Nespresso machines, says coffee drinkers should know what they're getting - and the marketing doesn't tell the full story. For starters, the amount of caffeine in a capsule is significantly lower than the standard serve in a cafe. ''You walk away a little bit dissatisfied.''


He agrees big industry players need to act on environmental concerns - but says packaging changes will affect coffee quality and shelf life, which is best preserved by aluminium seals. ''They [the manufacturers] know they've got a serious problem.''
Nicole Parker, Nespresso's Australian marketing manager, says the company knows it has to address recycling concerns. Currently, customers can return used pods to one of the 11 Nespresso boutiques around Australia - with a 12th to open in the Melbourne CBD next week. There is also a recycling drop-off program run in conjunction with suburban florists.
Jon Dee describes these measures as so limited and difficult to observe as to be meaningless. ''It shows they're not serious.''
He also rejected Nespresso's claim that aluminium packaging is more environmentally friendly - on the grounds aluminium does more harm in its production. And he attacks a Nespresso video for showing used pods being placed in a domestic recycling bin, for which they are not suitable.


But Ms Parker - while saying, ''I concede it's not optimal yet'' - adds that alternatives are being considered, including giving customers a pre-paid envelope to return used capsules. Another option is the Swiss model: the mail service collects pods from letterboxes.
As for George Clooney, he is unlikely to disappear as the richly rewarded face of Nespresso any time soon. ''His charm and his humour have been really essential to people's understanding of Nespresso as a brand,'' Ms Parker said.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Joanna on Sat Apr 19 2014, 19:01

I've never experienced that type of coffee.....surely there's a recycling collection bin in the coffee house ?

 confused

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Pita428 on Sat Apr 19 2014, 19:50

"The Clooney Effect"? Cause we as consumers have no brains and just follow whatever the celebrity du jour says. Next week, George advocates jumping off a bridge. I don't know about you guys, but I'm in!

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Apr 19 2014, 20:19

LOL Pita....I'm in too...If the bridge is only 1 feet high  Razz  Razz  Razz 

"But George Clooney - for a guy who is so switched on to civil rights and other issues - to lead the charge in causing such environmental damage and waste and other issues is really disappointing.''

I don't like it that they try to blame George so much for it. He is not in charge of the company. 

But at least say also said something nice about him

king of cool


 Yahooooo  Yahooooo  Yahooooo 

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Mazy on Sat Apr 19 2014, 22:36

As far a the bridge goes if George is jumping so am I.

They need someone with a name to blame. Why don't most places have more recycling facilities anyway. We the people would each be doing our own sorting so they can do recycling. Soon we will run out of room to place it.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Katiedot on Mon Apr 21 2014, 04:48

I don't think we can blame George that people aren't recycling stuff.  We can question why he's directly encouraging people to buy stuff that's not good for the environment and is hard to recycle.

And I say this as a sometime coffee pod consumer (our office coffee machine is now a nespresso since our WMF beast gave up the uneven fight against our reservations team's caffeine needs). I prefer to use a drip filter coffee (I've got one of those metal filters takes roughly ground coffee) but since I've run out of coffee, I'm back on the pods. With added guilt trip because they don't get recycled here and I'd hate to think how many 'dead pods' we produce in a week.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Mazy on Mon Apr 21 2014, 06:35

They should put the problem in the hands of kids and crafters. I bet they could come up with several uses for them. I don't drink coffee so I have no idea about size etc. My daughter is always yelling at me when I look at disposables to figure out a new life. I don't save anything any more, I'm good.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by fava on Mon Apr 21 2014, 12:46

I think when you are a paid spokesman for a product you need to be prepared to take the heat when there are issues with the product.  You are the face of the brand. Sorry George!  Not your fault that folks don't recycle/ or live somewhere they can't.  But you do have the power to ask Nespresso how they are addressing this.  My neighborhood had a cleanup day this weekend--we filled 12 trash bags and it was mostly plastic water bottles and plastic grocerty bags.  The world would be better if we had alternatives that do not result in all this trash that does not degrade.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by silly girl on Mon Apr 21 2014, 13:39

True he is just the spokesman but he is also heavily involved in the business end more than most. I think recycling is important but also making the pods biodegradable might help. Some pods being made for the keurig now say that....I like my Keruig but do feel a bit guilty about the waste....

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by pattygirl on Mon Apr 21 2014, 15:33


Although not a "pod" drinker myself, I feel the final responsibility does fall on the consumer. Here in NY, we have to responsibility and opportunity to recycle paper, metal, glass and plastic. Each week on one of our trash collection days (we have 2 a week), we have the opportunity to recycle. Also, a great many food market chains have a container where you can recycle your grocery bags.

It is sad to think that any company should be condemned for providing convenient ways to use their products. Unless we have the facility and inclination to "grow our own", every time we use a product it comes in some kind of container and it is up to us, the consumers to dispose of that container in the most efficient manner possible.

Silly Girl, as long as you try you best to "recycle" your Keruig pods, you shouldn't feel guilty.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Mazy on Mon Apr 21 2014, 20:07

George has recently gotten more involved with the company to try and help make it more sustainable.  This takes time, scientists and money o get a system that works. I believe all product companies are going to have to develop more environment friendly products. Also governmental agencies have to have better recycling plans. Then the public has to follow those plans which many don't.

When I was a Girl Scout Leader (don't like the politics of some of these groups now that I know more) we always tried to enforce the idea that a place should be better for you being there, not worse. So clean your mess and some more. If we as citizens want to live in nice places then it is our job to help keep them that way.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Tue Apr 22 2014, 00:31

Great point, Mazy. If we all cleaned up after ourselves things would be a lot better. But I also think the government should be more focused on environmental issues - whether through legislation of existing industries or supporting efforts to create sustainable materials and products. I bet if there was a financial incentive Nespresso, or someone else, would come up with a more suitable "pod".

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Mazy on Tue Apr 22 2014, 00:51

LizzyNY wrote:Great point, Mazy. If we all cleaned up after ourselves things would be a lot better. But I also think the government should be more focused on environmental issues - whether through legislation of existing industries or supporting efforts to create sustainable materials and products. I bet if there was a financial incentive Nespresso, or someone else, would come up with a more suitable "pod".

Good idea Lizzy but you have to remember our government (GOP) most likely DON'T think this is a problem like they don't believe in Global Warming. If somehow some of them can make money on on it watch how fast they would come up with something.


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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Katiedot on Tue Apr 22 2014, 05:53

In my view, it doesn't matter what flavour of government you've got, they only care about the things the voters care about.

If the majority of people cared about recycling, the environment and the rest of it, the government would. It doesn't work so well the other way round (a government trying to force people do behave differently).

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Tue Apr 22 2014, 18:40

@Katie - The way the government is "working" (not) in this country, the last thing they care about is what the people want. The only thing they care about is getting re-elected and lining their own pockets. If we bombarded them with letters, emails, petitions, marches, etc. they MIGHT pass a law or two, but nothing that would stand in the way of their friends making a profit.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Mazy on Wed Apr 23 2014, 00:35

LizzyNY wrote:@Katie - The way the government is "working" (not) in this country, the last thing they care about is what the people want. The only thing they care about is getting re-elected and lining their own pockets. If we bombarded them with letters, emails, petitions, marches, etc. they MIGHT pass a law or two, but nothing that would stand in the way of their friends making a profit.

Lizzy is 150% correct, they would vote down any new laws that would cost the 1-2% of the population money. This might not be a presidential election buy we have to push to get the working people out to vote, so we can start weeding the GOP out. They just knocked down a $10. minimum wage and women getting paid the same as men for the exact same job. Recycling is way down on the totem pole.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 23 2014, 00:56

You're right, Mazy. Voting them out is the best thing we can do. I just wish that manufacturers would seek out the most environmentally friendly ways to produce and market their products to begin with. I know it's happening on a small scale, but I wish big business would follow suit. Imagine the good press Nespresso would have gotten if they had put more effort into creating a biodegradable pod. Then they wouldn't be picking on George for something that isn't his fault. (Although I admit I wonder how aware he was/is of the size of the problem.)

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by it's me on Wed Apr 23 2014, 05:50

biodegradable?
guess impossible
too high temperatures required  scratch 

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Katiedot on Wed Apr 23 2014, 06:50

LizzyNY wrote:@Katie - The way the government is "working" (not) in this country, the last thing they care about is what the people want.
Not entirely true but it does take a lot of people to make a change. If you don't vote for a politician who doesn't behave the way you want, then they very quickly get the message.

Same with companies. If nobody bought products by manufacturers who were less than perfect in their environmental principles, they'd be out of business in months.

The problem is, of course, that not enough people will behave this way because it really does have to be a lot of people to make this happen.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Carla97 on Wed Apr 23 2014, 10:26

Maybe the world is saved from garbage when G stops advertising and nespresso manufacturing coffee. Yeah. Great Pacific Garbage Patch all used nespresso capsules! Glad there is a solution.  Smile 

I mean let´s all go to China and take a look at some factories and industrial plants…and then think about it this again.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by it's me on Wed Apr 23 2014, 10:29

what about plastic bottles islands into our oceans?

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Carla97 on Wed Apr 23 2014, 10:44

Yes there are just plastic bottles hardly any fish due to overfishing in the oceans. Not many decades left for sea fish.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 23 2014, 14:57

@Katie - Agreed that if we didn't buy products from companies that pollute the problem would solve itself - to some extent. Sadly, most of us are unaware of the environmental impact of many of the products we use. We may know that an ingredient in a product may not be safe, but we really don't know much about the manufacturing process of those products.

Unfortunately, the manufacturing process of some products cannot be done without some environmental impact. The ideal would be to keep it to a minimum or find a more sustainable, less destructive alternative product.

IMO, most of the responsibility for creating safe products and processes rests with the people who develop them. If you know something you are doing may be unsafe, you should, in good conscience, look for a better alternative.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by fava on Wed Apr 23 2014, 18:01

LizzyNY wrote:@Katie - Agreed that if we didn't buy products from companies that pollute the problem would solve itself - to some extent. Sadly, most of us are unaware of the environmental impact of many of the products we use. We may know that an ingredient in a product may not be safe, but we really don't know much about the manufacturing process of those products.

Unfortunately, the manufacturing process of some products cannot be done without some environmental impact. The ideal would be to keep it to a minimum or find a more sustainable, less destructive alternative product.

IMO, most of the responsibility for creating safe products and processes rests with the people who develop them. If you know something you are doing may be unsafe, you should, in good conscience, look for a better alternative.
I mostly agree with you.  However, I think some of the responsibility rests with the consumer--if biodegradable products come out and they cost more, consumers have to be willing to pay more or the product/business will not be successful.  We bought a hybrid automobile that costs more than one a comparable size, we knew we would save money on gas , but we also wanted to help send a message to the auto industry to keep developing these technologies because there are buyers.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Pita428 on Wed Apr 23 2014, 20:19

Also, remember that as demand for the environmentally friendly products goes up the costs to the consumers will eventually come down. Prices are higher at first to help companies cover research and development.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 23 2014, 20:33

@Fava and Pita428 - We do have a responsibility to buy environmentally safe products whenever we can. And, yes, the cost does come down once demand goes up - but it happens slowly.

With our economy in the state it's in many people can't afford to "go green" even when they want to. For example, how many people would like to use solar power in their homes but find the cost prohibitive? And solar has been on the market quite a while. The price has come down, but it is still out of reach of many.

Although I agree with you both, I still feel the main responsibility rests with the people developing the products and technologies to make it as safe as possible.


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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by Pita428 on Wed Apr 23 2014, 21:09

Many environmentally safe products are developed and brought to market every year and then die a quick death because the public either has little interest or is unwilling to make the sacrifice to purchase them. Companies have gotten the message from consumers loud and clear. Price trumps environment.

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Re: Recycling issue brewing in George Clooney's Nespresso campaign

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 23 2014, 21:28

it isn't always price that causes a product to fail. Sometimes it's poor marketing or too little advertising. People don't know the product is available, or it isn't available where they live. Sometimes it's just that the product doesn't work very well.

I'm not saying we all couldn't do more. We can. But I don't think it's an easy fix.

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