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How to Recycle Nespresso Pods at Work (Step-by-Step)

Coffee pod recycling

Wondering how to recycle Nespresso pods at work? For years coffee pods have suffered a bad rap for being environmentally unfriendly, creating more unnecessary trash in overburdened landfills. In this post we explore how these pods can be recycled, so that you can enjoy guilt-free coffee.

Some 7 in every 10 adults drinks coffee every week. That amounts to around 62% of the entire population drinking at least a cup a day according to the National Coffee Association.

It’s easy to see how 10 billion coffee pods are sold every year – many consumed in the morning at work. There’s no denying that many of these pods, especially the plastic kind, are causing a serious waste issue all over the country. It’s up to your team to choose recyclable coffee pod options.

That’s why we’re going to give you a step-by-step outline on how to recycle Nespresso pods. By far one of the most popular coffee pod brands, this model will show you how to recycle eco-friendly pods when you’re using them at the office.

Step 1: Choose a Recyclable Coffee Pod (Material)

Coffee pods are usually attached to a specific machine that is left in the break room at work. So, if you and your green team want to switch to a recyclable pod, you will need to assess the current impact of your company coffee pod usage, to motivate the new machine purchase.

Many businesses find that their pods are plastic. These are the ones you should replace with eco-friendly alternatives, like aluminum Nespresso pods or compostable pods from niche brands like Co-Op pods or Grind House Coffee Blend pods for bulk purchase.

  • Aluminum is uniquely recyclable so it’s a great choice
  • If you have a composting program, biodegradable pods will work too
Recycle Nespresso pods

Step 2: Create Your Nespresso Pod Recycling Program

Once you’ve motivated and invested in the new machine, and employees are using the coffee pods you need to setup a pod recycling program. This is because coffee pods can’t be recycled along with other general workplace recycling.

Make sure that you have a separate bin or bag that lives close to your Nespresso coffee machine. Put up posters or brief your employees on where they should toss their empty coffee pods after use. Some pods can be used a couple times before they are recycled so include that as a hot tip.

  • Put a separate recycling bin near the coffee machine for the pods
  • Educate your employees on the change and what they should do

Step 3: Collect and Store Your Coffee Pods for Recycling

Depending on the size of your company, your green team (or waste team) will need to collect the Nespresso coffee pods during the week. Keep them separate from your other waste streams and curbside programs – they need to be sent somewhere special.

  • Stockpile your used and recyclable Nespresso coffee pods

Step 4: Get the Nespresso Recycling Bag and Find a Location

Once you have collected your Nespresso coffee pods, you’ll need to go to the Nespresso website and order their special recycling bags. Fill these bags with your pods and they’re ready to be dropped off at one of 122,287 locations all over the world.

You can find your closest Nespresso recycling drop-off point here.

If you can’t get to a drop-off point, Nespresso has a partnership agreement with UPS – so you can take them to any UPS branch for recycling. It’s important that you get the official Nespresso recycling bag because it’s the only way pods are accepted.

The bag itself is also aluminum so it’s part of their recycling process. Bags are free at any Nespresso store but the easiest way to keep them coming is to order them for delivery online.

  • Order Nespresso recycling bags for your pods
  • Take them to a local drop-off point or UPS store
Courtesy of

Step 5: Simplify Your Nespresso Coffee Pod Recycling Process

Streamlining your recycling process is easy once you’ve done it a few times. Your green team will have a better idea of how many bags your office needs and can order them along with the pods.

The average aluminum recycling bag holds around 200 regular pods. The bags are all one size, and they were never meant for commercial recycling so it can be a labor of love to do the weekly transfer. With 80% of pods ending up in the ocean however, it’s more than worth it!

  • Simplify your recycling bag ordering process
  • Make time to drop off your weekly (or monthly) bags at the nearest point

Nespresso pod recycling is an amazing program that will drastically reduce the negative impact of plastic pods on our world. If you currently have plastic coffee pods in-office, consider motivating why a change needs to happen and implement a high impact Nespresso coffee pod recycling program.

At the end of the year, after 320,000 tons pods have been used – share with your employees how many pods you’ve recycled to boost office morale. They are guaranteed to love it! Now you know how to recycle Nespresso pods at work. Get to it and make a real difference.