Enjoy a cup of coffee with peace of mind

Combining the art of freshly brewed coffee with responsible practices is Nespresso’s mission. With Pay Chen, find out how you can contribute to the recycling of aluminum capsules and give them a second life.
The great Canadian television host, Pay Chen, is a big coffee lover. Here she talks with Julie Pomerleau, Marketing and Corporate Communications Director at Nespresso, to learn more about the fascinating recycling cycle of aluminum capsules and the brand’s commitment to the sustainability development.

Quiz Are you a coffee maven?

How much do you know about Nespresso and recycling? Take our quiz and learn more!
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1

Nespresso capsules aren’t recyclable; you have to throw them out with the garbage.

True

False! Nespresso coffee capsules are entirely recyclable, because they’re made of aluminum.

False

You’re right: you shouldn’t throw Nespresso capsules in the garbage. You should recycle them, because they’re made of aluminum, which is an infinitely recyclable material.
2

Nespresso capsules are entirely* made of aluminum.

True

Yes, they are! The aluminum locks in the coffee’s freshness and aromas.

False

Sorry, you got this one wrong! Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum, a material that preserves the coffee’s freshness and aromas.
3

Some Nespresso capsules are made from primary aluminum and others are made from recycled aluminum.

True

That’s correct! Since 2020, some Nespresso capsules have been made from 80% recycled aluminum. Nespresso intends for all capsules in its Original and Vertuo lines to be made of at least 80% recycled aluminum by year-end 2021.

False

Guess what? You’re wrong! Until 2020, all Nespresso capsules were made from sustainably sourced primary aluminum. Since then, though, some have been manufactured with 80% recycled aluminum, and by year-end 2021, all Vertuo and Original capsules will be made of at least 80% recycled aluminum.
4

Nespresso capsules can go in the recycling bin.

True

Yes and no. It depends where you live; the Nespresso’s green bag solution is available in more than 500 Quebec and Saskatchewan municipalities, that allows you to put the green bag in your recycling bin. If it is not possible in your municipality, you can use the black bag solution, bring it back to a Nespresso boutique or partner retailer.

False

Actually, it depends where you live. The Nespresso’s green bag solution is available in more than 500 Quebec and Saskatchewan municipalities, that allows you to put the green bag in your recycling bin. If it is not possible in your municipality, you can use the black bag solution, bring it back to a Nespresso boutique or partner retailer.
5

After being separated from used capsules, the coffee grounds go into new capsules for resale.

True

Uh, no. Nespresso capsules contain only freshly ground coffee, so that every cup you brew has the perfect flavour, just the way you like it.

False

Obviously! Nespresso capsule coffee is always freshly ground, guaranteeing perfect flavour in every cup.
6

The used coffee grounds are transformed into compost and given to farmers to help fertilize their fields.

True

You’re right! Nespresso’s composted coffee grounds are given to local farmers so that they can spread it on their fields.

False

Nope, it’s true. Nespresso cares about materials recovery and recycling. Its coffee grounds become high-quality compost that’s given to local farmers as fertilizer for their crops.
7

Used capsules are shredded and shipped to Switzerland, where they’re recycled into new capsules.

True

Not true! The aluminum from the capsules is actually compacted into cubes, sent to a foundry and melted down to become recycled aluminum, which is then used to manufacture new items.

False

Correct! The aluminum from the capsules is actually compacted into cubes, sent to a foundry and melted down to become recycled aluminum, which is then used to manufacture new items.
8

After it’s melted down, the aluminum from Nespresso capsules loses some of its properties, so it can only be recycled into carpets.

True

False! Aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material because it doesn’t lose its properties. It can be reused endlessly to manufacture high-quality products.

False

That’s clearly not the case. Aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material because it doesn’t lose its properties. It can be reused endlessly to manufacture high-quality products.
9

Consumers have a role to play to ensure every capsule gets recycled.

True

Nespresso does everything it can to make the recycling process easier, offering a variety of solutions to help consumers. Capsules’ and coffee grounds’ recycling journey begins in the kitchen.

False

Nespresso capsules’ journey to the processing plant begins in the kitchen, with a simple recycling gesture.

You have completed the quiz! Congratulations!

You are definitely a coffee maven, and recycling Nespresso capsules now holds no secrets for you.

Portioned coffee. Peace of mind?

Ah, morning coffee. That most delectable of daily rituals. The entire household wakes up to its comforting aroma. Do you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing for the environment with every cup? You just might find the answer in a capsule made of aluminum.

The perfect cup, every time

When you choose portioned coffee, you know you’re getting the perfect brew and taste. Every time. Just one press of a button and you get a guaranteed quality cuppa. It couldn’t be simpler.

Nespresso capsules are made in Switzerland, drawing on expertise that goes back more than three decades. They’re made entirely* of aluminum, a material that locks in all the freshness and aromas of coffee.

Official Nespresso bag may differ from photograph

Nespresso capsules are entirely recyclable

Once your cup of coffee is brewed, the capsule is ready for its recovery and recycling journey. That’s because the company has implemented recycling solutions to give it a second life. And a third. And on and on.

It starts at home, with a simple gesture: putting the aluminum capsule in a recycling bag provided by Nespresso. From that moment, it’s on the road to recycling and repurposing.

Choosing the right bag

The first thing to do is check which solution is offered in your city using the tool on the company’s website. The red bag solution allows you to drop off your used capsules at any Canada Post outlet or mailbox. Postage is already taken care of! The green bag solution, which is available in more than 500 municipalities in Quebec and Saskatchewan, allows you to drop it in your recycling bin at-home.

If neither of those solutions are available, you can simply put your capsules in a Nespresso black bag (or any other bag of your choice) and take them back to a Nespresso boutique or partner retailer.

Aluminum: infinitely recyclable

The great thing about aluminum, which Nespresso capsules are made of, is that it’s infinitely recyclable. It can be melted down and recast time after time without its properties degrading.

Nespresso knows this, and first marketed capsules made of 80% recycled aluminum in 2020. The company confirms that by year-end 2021, all capsules in its Original and Vertuo lines will be made of at least 80% recycled aluminum as well.

What happens to the capsules?

Nespresso always works with local recycling partners. In Quebec, its used capsules go to the 2M Ressources recycling plant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Elsewhere in Canada, they’re sent to the closest facility — either in Guelph, Ontario, or Vancouver, British Columbia.

Once there, the capsules go through a mechanical process that separates the coffee grounds from the aluminum. The aluminum is isolated, then compacted before being shipped to a foundry, and the coffee grounds are composted.

Grounds feeding the ground

This is one of the great benefits of the recovery process: the coffee grounds in Nespresso capsules are processed separately and transformed into high-quality compost. The compost is then given to partner farms in Quebec and British Columbia to aid in soil fertilization.

Recycling steps

Nespresso offers recycling solutions for its Original and Vertuo aluminum capsules to give them several other lives. Discover them.
Put your used capsules in the black Nespresso recycling bag.
Take the black bag back to a Nespresso boutique or partner retailer.
When the bag is returned, it is sent to a recycling centre.
The coffee grounds and the aluminum in the capsules are separated.
The coffee grounds are composted and offered free of charge to local partner farms.
We give a second life to aluminum, which is infinitely recyclable.
Pay Chen

The consumer’s role

A Nespresso capsule still has many lives left after you’ve brewed your coffee. The process is simple, the technology is in place — but you are the key. It starts with a small civic gesture, in your kitchen. Nespresso wants to see all its capsules recycled. So do the right thing and enjoy your coffee with peace of mind.

Carbon neutral by 2022

In today’s times of climate emergency, every company must do its part to improve its carbon footprint. Nespresso’s commitment in that regard is tangible: the company is aiming to ensure that every cup of coffee is carbon neutral by 2022, thanks to multiple actions. One small aluminum capsule at a time, with consumers doing their part!