Nespresso hits new milestone in coffee capsule sustainability

Nespresso has launched the first coffee capsules on the market made using 80 per cent recycled aluminium.

The company says this is part of its continued journey towards circularity, going further to minimise waste and maximise reuse of product materials.

“We are constantly challenging ourselves to improve the sustainability and circularity of our operations, including the way we source, use, and recycle materials. Reaching 80 per cent recycled aluminium in our capsules is a significant milestone, and something we have worked hard to achieve together with our suppliers,” says Jérôme Pérez, Nespresso Head of Sustainability.

Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and is one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. Recycled aluminium requires less energy to produce than a virgin product, making it well-suited to use in a circular business model.

Nespresso says aluminium also optimally protects the freshness and aromas of high-quality coffee, providing a barrier against oxygen, light, and humidity. Made of a thinner aluminium foil, each new capsule is produced using 9.2 per cent less aluminium material, and is therefore 8 per cent lighter.

The first coffee capsules made from 80 per cent recycled aluminium are the Original Line Master Origin Colombia coffee, introduced in March this year in selected countries and will continue to be rolled out from July onwards.

By the end of 2021, Nespresso aims to have the full Original Line and Vertuo ranges of coffee capsules made using recycled aluminium.

The launch of the capsules follows the introduction of new fully recyclable boxes for Nespresso machines, made from 95 per cent recycled material, earlier this year in March. By the end of 2021, Nespresso targets to have all machines sold in this new packaging.

“These new initiatives take Nespresso a step closer to creating a more circular business model,” Pérez says. “We will continue to work towards increasing the proportion of recycled aluminium in our coffee capsules and to drive up the recycling rate of our used capsules, making it as easy as possible for our customers to recycle them.”

Nespresso has reached a global recycling rate of 30 per cent, and will continue to work to increase it. Since 2014, the company has invested more than CHF 185 million (about US$190 million) in its recycling programs globally, with more than 100,000 collection points in 53 countries.

“Consumer participation is central to success, so we are incredibly grateful for the enthusiasm our customers have shown in achieving our current recycling rate. We aim to now build on this positive momentum. We will continue our efforts to promote recycling among consumers, working towards achieving our ultimate ambition of recycling all of our capsules,” Pérez says.

Nespresso says recycling is a collective effort, and increasing recycling rates is dependent on four key elements:

  1. Further strengthening the communication to consumers to raise awareness and drive participation,
  2. Working with authorities to integrate capsule recycling into collective recycling schemes,
  3. Increasing the number of collection points, and
  4. Integrating other portioned coffee manufacturers into its recycling scheme to improve availability and accessibility of aluminium capsule recycling.

“These initiatives are an integral part of Nespresso’s ongoing commitment to the responsible use of aluminium. As announced in November 2018, we will continue to work alongside our partners to use aluminium compliant with the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative standard for responsible and sustainable aluminium, whether it is sourced from bauxite or from recycled material,” Pérez says.For more information, visit

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