Back in the summer of 2018, we were invited to Lausanne, Switzerland to visit both the Nespresso HQ as well as their recycling facility. This trip was inspiring from so many different angles and we have many great memories from our time there with such an incredible group of people. What we love most about Nespresso, is that their capsules are made from aluminum (vs plastic like other single use coffee machines) and can be recycled without waste. That is a huge plus and is the main reason we have continuously supported Nespresso for years. It was also a plus to see the process up close with our own eyes.
How Sustainable are Single Use Coffee Machines?
As parents, our caffeine intake has definitely skyrocketed. We don’t often have that slow cup of coffee together that we used to. We recently read a New York Times article that shared, in a recent study nearly half of surveyed Americans said they relied on single-cup coffee-brewing machines to get their caffeine fix. It’s just Rob and I running the blog, shooting for companies, taking care of our little love Ollie, and trying to squeeze some personal time in between in it all. If you value convenience and sustainability, like we do, you don’t have to compromise. There is a huge misconception about the recycling initiatives put in place with Nespresso. Keep reading to learn a little more about our experience in Switzerland and what actually happens after you use a Nespresso capsule.
Nespresso capsules go on to have a second life
What impressed us the most about our tour of the recycling facility, was how they separate the aluminum from the coffee grinds. It was extremely efficient and kind of mesmerizing, to be honest. The grinds go on to be composted, while the aluminum is recycled to be reused as a new product. No waste at all! We visited a vineyard which used composted coffee grinds to feed the soil on which delicious grapes were grown. Nespresso does some pretty cool things with the recycled aluminum, creating bicycles, pocket knives and pens too.
How to Recycle Nespresso Capsules
Here in the US, the task is simple. You can add a (complimentary) recycling bag to your online order, then drop off your filled bag at any UPS drop-off, and off they go to be recycled. It’s that easy. If you’re a New Yorker (NYC), you can just place your used capsules in your blue bin. (We hope other states catch onto that as well!)