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Nespresso gives a Second Life to its signature aluminum coffee capsule

“Science may never come up with a better office communication system than a coffee break” – Earl Wilson

A cup of coffee is a moment of pleasure. Everyone loves a good cup of coffee. Some even go to the extent of brewing that perfect cup of coffee for themselves because they know coffee taken in any other configuration might just ruin their happiness. And those who do, know about Nespresso’s Grand Crus beverages.

Nestlé’s Nespresso S.A. is an operating unit of the Nestle group in Switzerland. Nespresso machines brew espresso coffee from coffee capsules or pods. These coffee pods are a type of single-use container of ground coffee beans in a particular proportion, sometimes with added flavorings. A single-serve coffee container is a method for coffee brewing that prepares only enough coffee for a single portion. There are multiple configurations of coffee in these Nespresso pods or capsules catering to different taste buds. The pods are made from paper and individually sealed in separate bags. In a coffee capsule, the coffee is packed in a plastic or an aluminium package, usually designed for a single brand.  

These coffee containers can both reduce the time needed to brew a cup of coffee and simultaneously simplify the brewing process by eliminating the need to measure out portions, flavorings, and additives from large bulk containers. Hermetically sealing the coffee in an aluminium capsule provides the best protection against external elements such as oxygen, light, and humidity that can compromise freshness, taste and quality of the raw materials. It also saves exposing the entire batch to air and light and preserves its brilliance.
According to Nespresso, aluminium capsules are best to preserve freshness and aromas up to one year shelf-life. Capsules with aluminium coated overwrap have a bit lesser longevity. Using aluminium capsules allows elimination of any additional packaging or overwrap to protect freshness, providing further advantages from a sustainability perspective. And because it is lightweight, using aluminium for the Nespresso capsules also provides transportation and environmental savings when compared to other packaging materials.

As long as the company produces these capsules, it will add to the aluminium waste. One capsule has 1g of the metal compared to about 13g for a soft drink aluminium can. Imagine the pile up if these are not recycled. Fortunately, the company realized this and the relationship with the environment 3 decades ago and started a program of collecting and recycling the aluminium capsules. Through their Second Life project, Nestle's Nespresso has a target of achieving 100% sustainably managed aluminium by 2020. The Second Life is part of the overall strategy in sustainability to use the aluminium from the recycled coffee capsules acts as a resource to help manufacture new products.

Some of the products manufactured in partnership with other big companies are:

A limited edition version of the Pioneer Victorinox Swiss Army knife.

The aluminium cladding will be made entirely from recycled Nespresso capsules. It retains the popular color of Nespresso's Arpeggio and contains the equivalent weight of 24 capsules. Like the classic Pioneer, this one also constitutes of aluminium handles along with the knife blade, bottle opener, and other useful features.
Zena, the company famous for its vegetable peelers will make one signature product as a limited edition with the recycled aluminium from the capsules in the same color.
All these products will flout the aluminium recycled from Nespresso’s recipe for perfect coffee stored in the capsules. The Second Life campaign recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee. Clearly, saving the planet while sipping a cup of hot espresso is the mantra of the company.

For more on their project, visit -

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. do you know how to clean your nespresso machine ? check out how to clean Nespresso machine?

  3. do you know if you use reusable k cup, you will get the best coffee taste? I have tried this. You can search it on Google to know about it.


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