In the last years, Nespresso machines have become a popular appliance. The problem with the one-touch espresso machines is that they require pods that when discarded, end up in a landfill.
With an individual pod required per shot of espresso, concerns about their environmental impact have been raised by The New York Times, CNN, Mother Jones, and other publications. Yes, the pods are recyclable, but the aluminum and coffee grounds first need to be separated:
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.
How to Recycle Nespresso Pods
Nespresso offers you a few options to recycle the pods. You could always gather the used pods and take them to the nearest Nespresso boutique or one of Nespresso’s retail partners, such as Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma.
Another option is to take your recycling bag to a UPS location, adhere the prepaid shipping label that comes with the Nespresso recycling bag and drop it off at any UPS-affiliated store or location. The great news is that the UPS program is free; there’s no charge to drop off your pods for recycling as long as it has the prepaid return sticker on it.
If you don’t want to leave your house to recycle, the pods can packaged and given to any UPS driver.
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.
Currently, the Nespresso-UPS mail-back program is offered in twelve states. They are: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.