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Nespresso invites companies to join its aluminium recycling scheme

Go back to list Lausanne, Mar 29, 2019

Nespresso today issued an invitation to other portioned coffee manufacturers to join its recycling program, paving the way for a global recycling scheme for aluminium coffee capsules. The move was endorsed by the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board (NSAB) during its annual meeting in Geneva.

By inviting other portioned coffee manufacturers to join its scheme, Nespresso hopes to improve the accessibility and convenience of aluminium capsule recycling. Companies joining the Nespresso recycling program will also take part in defining the funding and governance model and encourage more widespread use of the service.

Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso said: “Aluminium is a valuable material and is infinitely recyclable. We have built a global scheme for recycling our capsules, and by inviting other companies to join our system, we hope to offer a solution for the whole category. This decision is aligned with our global initiatives to shape a waste-free future and drive behaviour change towards a circular economy.”

In most countries, the public recycling infrastructure is unable to process small light items such as coffee capsules, so Nespresso set up dedicated schemes 28 years ago. Today it is the most advanced in the industry, covering 53 countries with more than 100,000 drop off points. Until now was offered exclusively to Nespresso customers.

Nespresso capsules, coffee and coffee machine

“This capsule recycling initiative by Nespresso has the potential to drive significant positive change on one of the key issues that faces the portioned coffee industry – the capsules themselves,” stated Daniel Katz, NSAB member and Chairman of the Board of the Rainforest Alliance. “Nespresso has worked with the Rainforest Alliance for 16 years on sustainably sourced coffee, and it is inspiring to see the company take ownership of aluminium recycling, helping lead the way and engage competitors, and driving towards a potential global solution to coffee capsule recycling.”


The aluminium from recycled Nespresso capsules has many and varied uses: from car engines to computers to cans, and even new coffee capsules. The coffee grounds are used to produce biogas and natural fertilizer.


About Nestlé Nespresso SA

Nestlé Nespresso SA is the pioneer and reference for highest-quality portioned coffee. The company works with more than 100,000 farmers in 13 countries through its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program to embed sustainability practices on farms and the surrounding landscapes. Launched in 2003 in collaboration with The Rainforest Alliance, the program helps to improve the yield and quality of harvests, ensuring a sustainable supply of high quality coffee and improving livelihoods of farmers and their communities.

Nespresso’s iconic capsules are made from aluminium, which is infinitely recyclable. The company currently invests 40 million CHF per year in capsule recycling, because the public recycling system in many countries is unable to process small or light aluminium items. In addition to its own recycling system, the company also invests to support the upgrade of public recycling infrastructure to the level found in Germany, Sweden and Finland so coffee capsules can be recycled in household recycling bins and kerbside collection schemes. So far, Nespresso has successfully supported upgrades to the public recycling systems in a number of cities in Austria, France, and the USA through a combination of funding and lobbying. It hopes that higher recycling targets and a growing global movement towards a circular economy will encourage more authorities to follow.

Nespresso’s global recycling rate was 28% in 2018, an increase from 25% in 2017.

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nespresso operates in 80 countries and has 13,600 employees. In 2018, it operated a global retail network of approximately 800 boutiques. For more information, visit the Nespresso corporate website:

About the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board (NSAB)

The Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board (NSAB) is comprised of experts and thought leaders in the area of sustainability. It was established by Nespresso in 2013 to solicit the views, insight and recommendations to enhance the Nespresso long-term sustainability strategy and to serve as a base for partnerships on sustainability initiatives. It also establishes a collaborative platform for partners to share experiences and provide insights on broader sustainability trends and issues.