Recycling Your Coffee Pods | How to help save our Planet

A great deal of conversation has been happening in regards to coffee pods and capsules. A big focus lies on their environmental impact for better or for worse. But luckily, many companies such as Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Lavazza have sought out solutions to this dilemma

The impact               

To begin, it is important to note with the rise in coffee pod and capsule consumption comes an increase in the environmental impact these pods and capsules create. Pod and capsule consumption is expected to continue to increase in the next couple of years due to factors such as the pod’s convenience of use and the increase in coffee chains serving pods at their locales globally. But with all this consumption comes waste, lots of which can end up in landfills.

The solutions

That isn’t to say the pod producing companies are not privy to this and have not taken notice. Currently, there are three major methods to help ameliorate the waste factor of pods and capsules. They are aluminum, plastic and compostable pods, capsules and bags.


Nespresso is especially attuned to the aluminum coffee pods and capsules. Aluminum is a great material to recycle; it has a long lifespan, even being used in airplanes or automobiles. Aluminum can also be recycled multiple times and still retain its original properties. Recycling aluminum is also more efficient and less resource intensive than refining it from the original aluminum ore. Most aluminum items can be recycled together with cans in the recycling bin, but Nespresso requires a special way to recycle their pods and capsules. First, rinsing or composting any excess coffee grounds left in the pods. Next, one can either recycle their Nespresso pods at a Nespresso shop or store, drop their pods at a special Nespressso collection point, or wait for their next deliver of Nespresso products and give the collected Nespresso pods to the delivery personnel. Nespresso also features an option to find collection points on their website. A great way to enjoy Nespresso while being sustainable and environmentally friendly.




The plastic capsules and pods on the other hand have a bit of a more convenient, if not also involved way of being recycled. When it comes to plastic capsules, one should again, rinse the extra coffee residue, or compost it, and then be careful to remove the aluminum lid from the cup. The aluminum lids can be recycled alongside cans and other aluminum goods, while the pods themselves can join your plastic goods in the bin or bag for plastics! We offer lots of great espresso pods and capsules that are also 100% recyclable. Some quality pods include our Cafe Joe line of excellent pods which are all recyclable. You don’t have to sacrifice sustainability or leaving a smaller environmental footprint to enjoy a superb espresso in the morning!

Compostable and Biodegradable

A new development in the world of coffee pods, capsules and K-cups is biodegradable and compostable pods. This is a great innovation, especially because the coffee grounds themselves can be a wonderful supplement to your garden or flowerbed. The way these pods work, is by being produced by molecular compounds similar to plastic, but which are able to break down and decompose. While some of these pods still require special receptacles that will be brought to specialized sanitation facilities, there are other pods that can go in the compost bin alongside other biodegradable pods, too! These pods have the added benefit of not needing to be cleaned or rinsed of their left over coffee content and can be disposed of in their entirety. Some brands such as The Foodies’ Larder, Dualit and Percol offer compostable coffee pods, capsules and bags.

The proper treatment of the planet and ethical consumption are both major and prescient concerns today. But you as an individual and coffee enthusiast can help do your part to help the planet and to also enjoy quality coffee at the same time. A win-win! In addition to some of the above mentioned brands like Nespresso, other great brands like Lavazza, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo all offer a variation or type of sustainable and environmentally friendly means of recycling their products. Please make sure to check their website and the packaging details on your purchased pod, capsule, k-cup or bag of choice. Making a positive impact on our planet and for the future can begin with us. So enjoy your coffee, whether it be a latte, an Americano or just a straight espresso shot, and be sure to recycle the pod when you’re done.

Want to make a difference but not sure how?

Now, some readers may be wondering, “but how can I recycle my pods?”. Luckily there are a few different ways in which you can help make a difference by disposing of your left over capsules and pods. Here are a few ways you can dispose of yours.

  • Make sure to remove the aluminum from plastic pods. Throw each one in the respective recycling container
  • You can bring empty Nespresso pods to Nespresso boutiques or cafes to be disposed
  • You can schedule a home pickup via the Nespresso website or calling their home pickup number 0800 442442.
  • Aluminum pods can be dropped off at designated collection points. You can find a collection point near you on the Nespresso website!
  • Visit the Terracycle website to find out ways to order collection services and special mail-able pouches for used pods to send back to the company for proper disposal.
  • Organic pods can be placed in your compost heap.
  • The extra coffee grounds can be used as an exfoliate for skin.
  • The extra grounds can also be used in the garden as a fertilizer.
  • You can use your pods for art projects or other creative projects.

Shameless plug alert. We wrote this article as an educational and awareness piece as we believe in taking responsibility and contributing towards saving the planet. We don't expect anyone to stop drinking Coffee Pods, however all of our Pods are 100% recyclable. So shop with us and like us, take your chance to contribute towards saving the planet.



  • Amber Johnson

    You can also get stainless steel refillable pods for most systems.

  • Trish McMorran

    Sadly getting rid of Dolce they recycle but is a complete pain so got a bean to mug machine

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