Our partners in the USA
Working with TerraCycle® to collect used capsules
Nespresso has partnered with the eco-friendly innovator TerraCycle to recycle used capsules through the Nespresso Capsule Brigade™. This program allows retail partners to collect used Nespresso capsules.
TerraCycle collects used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills and repurposes them into new, innovative materials and products. Used Nespresso capsules received by TerraCycle will be recycled into two streams: the aluminum capsules will be melted down and turned into new aluminum products and the residual coffee will be separated and sent to an industrial composting facility.
Working with UPS on the capsule mail-back program
With a focus on convenience and increasing access to capsule recycling for our Club Members, we have partnered with UPS on a mail-back program in selected states* that leverages their vast network of drop-off locations. When a Club Member receives a UPS recycling bag, the prepaid shipping label is already adhered to the bag so once it is full, simply drop it off at any UPS location**. Once UPS receives the recycling bag they will send it to our recycling partner, Ag Choice for separation and recycling.
*The UPS mail-back program is currently being offered in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. We intend to expand the program to additional states in the near future.
**All return packages can be given to any UPS driver or taken to any location of The UPS Store®, a UPS Drop Box, a UPS Customer Center, any Office Depot® or Staples® location, or any UPS Authorized Shipping Outlet. There is no charge to drop off a prepaid return package.
Separation of used capsules (aluminum and coffee)
Our recycling partner, Ag Choice, receives used capsules from many of our Boutiques as well as from Club Members participating in the UPS mail-back program. To give a second life to both the aluminum capsule as well as the residual coffee grounds, Ag Choice first separates the two materials.
The process of separation is performed using a packaging separation machine. Whole capsules are fed into the machine and pass through an agitator equipped with paddles that open the capsules and knock the coffee grounds out of the aluminum capsule. The resulting mixture is then passed through a screen that acts as a filter, separating the materials into two clean streams: aluminum and coffee grounds. Now that the coffee grounds and aluminum have been segregated, they are ready for recycling.
Aluminum capsule recycling
The separated aluminum is collected in a transport container and sent to an aluminum recycling facility. The separated capsules are loaded onto a conveyor and fed through a metal baler that compresses the material and shapes it into bales. The aluminum bales go on to a smelter where they are melted down, purified, and molded for use in new aluminum products.
Spent coffee grounds
The spent coffee grounds from Nespresso capsules are used by Ag Choice in the production of high quality compost and topsoil. Ag Choice uses the windrow composting method whereby organic and biodegradable material is piled into long rows, called windrows, and then aerated by turning the piles periodically. The windrows are made up of Nespresso ground coffee along with other food wastes, plant-based organics, manure and leaves. All composting activities follow criteria established by the USDA for organic production. The resultant high quality compost is sold as a soil amendment to landscapers, garden centers, municipalities, and home owners.
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