Recyclable Coffee Pods ♨️: Ah, coffee… the lovely drink that keeps us all going. To get going in the morning, I need to have a sip of this lovely drink; a quick fix, if I may reword it. Such is the essence of coffee for most people, myself included!

Coffee can come in different forms of packaging; it can come in bags, sachets, and pods. But, this blog will mainly focus on coffee pods.

Before continuing, what is a coffee pod-slash-capsule? Let me define it for you. Basically, it is like a teabag, but for coffee. In the pod contains ground coffee, wrapped in a paper filter. The coffee machine used extracts the coffee inside the coffee pod.

Now, for the main question: how do you deal with these recyclable coffee pods? And, more specifically, how are the different brands of coffee pods recycled? Read on to learn more.


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A bit about Waster

Before I discuss recyclable coffee pods and brands that have it, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for you and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.


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READ: Recycle Old Curtains ♻️


Things to learn on recyclable coffee pods

With countless amounts of products and materials alike ending up on landfills, more people are leaning on living a green and sustainable lifestyle. Of course, this includes substituting coffee packaging like bags and sachet for the much better option, which is a coffee pod.  According to a Canstar Blue research, around 28 per cent of Australian much prefers buying these little coffee pods as opposed to other coffee containers due to the fact that this minimised their environmental footprint.

But, even with its recyclable parts due to it containing aluminium, plastic, and paper, coffee pods still pester the environment up to this day. When not disposed of properly, it can harm the environment due to its non-biodegradable parts. As a result, everyone would think that the best thing to do is to recycle it, right? After all, as I have mentioned above, coffee pods contain a paper filter and aluminium, two of the commonly known recyclable materials. Well… not quite. Before you put your coffee pods in your kerbside, get informed first.


Why you should not put your coffee capsules into a recycling bin

If you’re wondering whether or not a coffee pod is recyclable, let me answer the question for you. In theory, you could recycle the aluminium contained. Furthermore, as for the filter, you can put the paper in your compost bin. All of these seems good, but there is a catch…

Some waste recycling Sydney facilities won’t accept coffee pods for the simple fact that they are far too small for them to handle. Usually, the pieces of machinery there are designated to handle larger objects such as bottles. The coffee pods could just potentially be filtered off and pollute the recycling machinery. But, you can try to contact your local council first if they accept recyclable coffee pods.

What about the plastic ones?

As for the plastic ones, some leading brands use #7 – i.e., mixed plastic – which is not good to use. These types of plastic do not break down and contain toxins. To counter this problem, other companies used polyethylene (PET) plastic for better recyclability. Facilities turn them into containers, bottles, and others. As for the leftover coffee grounds, you can instead throw them in your compost bin while you throw the plastic in the kerbside plastic recycling bin.


How are different brands dealing with their recyclable coffee pods?

Now, how are big coffee brands such as Nespresso helping the environment? Obviously, it is not enough to just make coffee pods recyclable as is. Brands should also provide a way where consumers can properly dispose of their products if recycling facilities won’t accept them. Here are a few examples of brands and how they let people dispose of their coffee pods.



Nespresso pod recycling is very much possible. If you search “Nespresso pod recycling near me in Australia” – for example, in Brisbane – in search engines, it will lead you to its official website and provide you with easy-to-follow instructions.

The first thing you should do in following their programme is to bring the recyclable coffee pods into the nearest Nespresso Boutiques or other collection points. You won’t have a problem looking for these locations because here in Australia, Nespresso has 19,000 collection points you can choose from, depending on your location. Additionally, you can also order a satchel and mail them to the Australia Post. I certainly believe them when they claim that 100 per cent of people have easy access to their recycling solution.

As for the recycling process itself, the aluminium part of their coffee pod is 100 per cent infinitely recyclable. They turn the aluminium into new objects such as Swiss army knives, BBQ tongs, metal ladders, and others. For the coffee grounds, the Nespresso recycling programme mixes them into compost fertiliser or turn them into renewable energy, instead.

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L’OR, Moccona, and illy

As for these three brands owned by JDE, they have contracted a partnership with TerraCycle for people to recycle their coffee pods. You can collect them by using a bag. When done, download a shipping label from your TerraCycle. Print it and tape into your box. Seal the box tightly and drop it off at your nearby post office.

Remember that you can only recycle aluminium coffee pods. And, make sure to seal them in a plastic bag and dry them before placing into the box. They melt the aluminium and turn it into new, recycled products.



As for Caffitaly coffee pod recycling, it is also possible. Their recyclable coffee pods consist of polypropylene which recyclers handle and turn into new products. Additionally, the Caffitaly programme can also incinerate them for energy production.

For guidelines in recycling, the first thing to remember is to cleanse them thoroughly to avoid contamination. They recycle the plastics into different kinds of bottles and containers. As for the aluminium, they are processed along with aluminium cans and turned into recycled products. The grounds are the same, they are turned into compost. Contact your local council first and foremost on general and further instructions.



Tassimo partnered up with TerraCycle (not in Australia, but in the UK) for their coffee pod recycling. The workers there give new life and turn the coffee pods into hard plastics by melting. They can also turn the hard plastics into products like watering cans, benches, and table.



Are Lavazza pods recyclable? The answer: yes, although Lavaza invested in something much more sustainable. A few months ago, Lavazza manufactured coffee pods that break down in six months. The reason is that they wanted to change their aluminium capsules into something more eco-friendly.



Yes, EXPRESSI Aldi pods are recyclable. They had a recycling programme that was met with success, but as of the moment, it is unavailable. They are looking for alternatives methods for the moment to “collect larger volumes in a more economically responsible way”.


Recyclable coffee pods: Australia’s first

Finally, Australian households will now have the option of recycling their coffee pods through their kerbside bins.

The City Of Newcastle recently launched an Australian-first, pilot program that will cater to 3,000 households located, of course, in Newcastle. More specifically, these households will have the opportunity to recycle aluminium coffee pods through their kerbside recycling bins.

Participating households in the Curby Coffee Capsule trial will get an orange-coloured bag in which they could store their aluminium coffee pods there. When they have collected enough, they can place it in their kerbside recycling bins for collection. The trial is being run by iQ Renew and CurbCycle. iQ Renew is an innovative Australian recycler company known for its intelligent Australian recycling ways whilst CurbCycle is known for its ‘transparent, end-t0-end solutions that enables the community to be in control of better recycling outcomes’.

After collection, the capsules will be segregated from other recycling at iQ Renew’s Materials Recovery Facility at Somersby and transferred to the existing Nespresso recycling system in NSW for separating into coffee grounds and aluminium.  The extracted aluminium will go to aluminium producers, saving 95 per cent of energy needed to get raw aluminium. The coffee grounds will, in turn, go to local commercial compost areas.

If you are an interested resident, then sign up now! You have until 10 December 2021 to do so.


Recyclable coffee pods: conclusion

You can find many options for your recyclable coffee pods. Depending on their brands, they are recycled or processed quite differently from another. But, even with the difference, the fact remains the same: they must be recycled and not sent to landfill. Coffee pods cannot break down easily; it takes 500 years or more before they break down.


Waster: things you need to know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.


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