Recycling Nespresso coffee capsules


Your Nespresso cup of coffee can be a force for good. Started in 2018, Global Recycling Day is celebrated annually on 18 March to help recognise and celebrate the important role that recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first. On Global Recycling Day, and every day, South African coffee lovers are encouraged to give their used Nespresso capsules a second life and to participate in Nespresso's global sustainability efforts. Consumers can do this by participating in the Nespresso South Africa used capsules recycling programme.


Nestlé South Africa – and by extension, Nespresso – is registered with the relevant Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO’s) that are responsible for the collection of the various waste materials that we use in the packaging of our products, in accordance with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements under National Environmental Management Waste Act 2008.


Nespresso uses aluminium for their capsules because it is an infinitely recyclable material and is one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. Aluminium provides a barrier to oxygen, light and humidity, which helps to protect the freshness and aromas of high-quality coffee. Since the end of 2021, all Nespresso Original capsules are made using at least 80% recycled aluminium, and most Vertuo capsules are made using at least 85% recycled aluminium.*


Nespresso recycles its used aluminium coffee capsules as part of its commitment to sustainability and a circular economy, and has made it easy and convenient for South African consumers to contribute:


  • With every Nespresso order, you will receive a recycling bag for your used Nespresso aluminium capsules
  • Dispose of your used aluminium capsules into a Nespresso recycling bag
  • Once the bag is full, hand your used capsules to a Nespresso courier partner or drop it off at your local Nespresso boutique
  • The used capsules are sent to Oricol, Nespresso's local recycling partner in South Africa
  • The residual coffee grounds and infinitely recyclable aluminium are separated at the Oricol recycling facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town 
  • The used coffee grounds are composted into natural fertiliser
  • The separated aluminium undergoes a further recycling process at a steel smelter and is then reused to make new aluminium products

To download the recycling process video please click here:


Now composed of a thinner aluminum foil, each Original capsule made with 80% recycled aluminium requires 9.2% less aluminum material than the previous composition and the empty capsule is also 7.9% lighter. The Vertuo capsule with 85% recycled content has the same amount of aluminum and overall weight as with the previous composition.