Nespresso Recycling@home

Location: Switzerland

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Jun 2, 2013, updated June 2013

<em>Nespresso</em> Recycling@home
NESPRESSO:Making it easier for consumers to recycle their used Nespresso capsules.

Nestlé has adopted an integrated approach to lowering its environmental impact that involves careful assessment of the entire product life-cycle and reusing, recycling and reducing packaging, energy and water consumption through innovation, LEAN and other tools. 

As part of its commitment to lower its environmental impact, Nespresso has introduced, among other projects, a Recycling@home initiative in six European markets to encourage the recycling of used Nespresso capsules.

Programme description

Recycling@home allows Nespresso Club Members to give their used Nespresso capsules to the postman or courier when new capsules are delivered, making it easy to recycle. 

The returned aluminium capsules are then separated from the used coffee grounds at recycling centres. As aluminium is infinitely recyclable, this process is highly valuable. Moreover, recycling aluminium requires only 5% of energy compared with primary aluminium sourcing.

Piloted in 2010, in London, the scheme is now available across the UK, alongside other recycling options. The recycling@home programme is free of charge for the consumers but they have to use a specific Nespresso recycling bag.

The scheme has also been launched across France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, where, as in the UK, consumers can also return their used capsules to collection points in Nespresso Boutiques and pick-up points. There are plans to further extend the scheme to other markets.

In Switzerland, there are more than 2,800 collection points (including Nespresso Boutiques and Nestlé offices) where consumers can return used capsules for recycling. As a result, capacity to collect used capsules in Switzerland already exceeds 80%.

Besides increasing its capacity to collect used capsules, Nespresso is supporting the implementation of new technology solutions to improve the recycling of aluminium in general and its used capsules in particular. 

For instance, in France, where small-size packaging cannot always be processed in packaging sorting centres, Nespresso has been testing, as part of the CELAA initiative, an electromagnetic system that separates small-scale aluminium packaging (such as capsules, pet food containers and bottle tops) from other waste, allowing used capsules and other small household items to be recycled.

By the end of June 2012, Nespresso collection capacity of used capsules had reached 76.4%, surpassing the company’s commitment one year ahead of plan.

Value to Society

Recycling@home makes it easy for consumers to return used Nespresso capsules for recycling, helping them reduce waste. Nestlé is also working with partners and authorities across Europe to help improve access to recycling facilities, with the goal of making it easier for people to recycle more of their household waste.

Value to Nestlé

Encouraging people to recycle more also allows Nestlé to lower its environmental impact. Having access to more recycled aluminium, for example, enables Nestlé to reduce its resource and energy consumption. The Nespresso Recycling@home programme also means that Club members are even more engaged with their brand.

Next Steps

As part of the Nestlé commitment to continually reduce its environmental impact, we will continue extending the reach of our Recycling@home programme and other recycling initiatives and communications.