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How to Recycle Nespresso Pods (It’s Easy!)

Nespresso pods

If you’re like us, you probably drink quite a lot of coffee—maybe even enough to be considered “too much” by usual standards. Health considerations aside, one major drawback to drinking copious amounts of coffee is the inevitable waste that drinking coffee generates. Paper filters, coffee stirrers, K-Cups, and Nespresso capsules are all one-use-only, and therefore, regular coffee drinkers burn through them at an alarming rate.

If you regularly make coffee with a Nespresso, you’re probably familiar with the guilty feeling you get when you unceremoniously toss a used capsule in the trash. If that resonates with you, we have good news. Nespresso has an official recycling program for used capsules with tons of locations worldwide. Participating is extremely simple, and in this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to do to be a more environmentally conscious Nespresso user.

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Nespresso Recycling: The Basics

Nespresso capsules are made from aluminum for two main reasons. The first is that aluminum is an excellent material for keeping ground coffee fresh for long periods of time. When a Nespresso capsule is filled with coffee and sealed, it could be weeks or months until it is used to make coffee. Aluminum capsules ensure the coffee stays as fresh as possible during that time.

Nespresso coffee
Image Credit: Helena Yankovska, Unsplash

The second reason is that aluminum is a recyclable material. Aluminum cans are the historical symbol for recyclability for a reason; namely, aluminum is one of the easiest materials to recycle, and almost none of the original goes to waste. Since Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum, they’re extremely easy to recycle.

Once Nespresso pods are recycled, they are used in any product that requires aluminum. Recycled Nespresso aluminum finds its way into a wide range of items, including bicycles, car engines, and more Nespresso capsules.

How Do I Recycle My Nespresso Pods?

Nespresso has set up a global recycling program to make it easy for its customers to recycle their used capsules. If you’re interested in recycling your Nespresso pods, you have a few options.

The first option is to find an official Nespresso recycling location near your home. There are approximately 100,000 locations worldwide where you can bring your used capsules to have them recycled. In many cases, Nespresso stores and boutiques are intake stations and will take your used pods and recycle them. You can find recycling locations on this website.

k cups
Image Credit: Diermaier, Pixabay

Another great option for many people is to drop off old capsules at your local UPS store. Nespresso and UPS have an agreement to help make recycling easy and painless. Even if you don’t have a physical Nespresso store near you, you probably have a UPS store nearby. We recommend giving them a call before you head over just to make sure they participate in the program.

If you don’t have any recycling stations near you or if you don’t have time to make it to one, don’t worry! You can also send your capsules back to Nespresso by mail for recycling. When you place an order for capsules from Nespresso, you can ask them to include a recycling bag in your order.

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Recycling Your Nespresso Pods: Final Thoughts

The time has long since passed where companies can ignore sustainability in their business practices. We live in a changing world where the future is more uncertain than ever. Efforts like the Nespresso recycling program are essential for creating an environment where we can leverage our technology to our benefit without ultimately shooting ourselves as a species in the foot.

It only takes a small amount of effort on the part of Nespresso customers like you and us to help ensure the health and longevity of both the coffee industry and the environment. A little goes a long way when it comes to recycling, and Nespresso has made it so that we only have to do a little bit ourselves. To learn more about Nespresso’s recycling initiative, visit this page.

SEE ALSO: Who Owns Nespresso? Surprising Truths


Featured Image: Jesper Brouwers, Unsplash

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Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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