What’s behind the coffee capsule?

What’s up coffee Lovers?

In our T&U class, we decided to take “Coffee Capsules” as our website project subject.
We specialized our project on Nespresso coffee capsules, because Nespresso is one of the leading coffee brands and also owned by the brand Nestlé, which is a Swiss company.
Throught this post you will get to know the lifecycle of a coffee capsule and who knows? maybe it’ll change your recycling habits towards capsules.

Here is the General life cycle of a coffee capsule:

General life cycle of a coffee capsule



Our self-made movie is online: coffee capsule

We used the App Cute CUT for the snipping. It is very simple and costs just 6 Swiss francs.


  • Where are the capsules produced?
  • How much aluminium is needed for one capsule
  • Out of which materials is a coffee capsule made of as well?
  • In which country do the world’s biggest coffee drinkers live? And how much do they consume per capita?
  • How many coffee capsules are produced in one year
  • How is the Recycling process of a coffee capsule?


1. Where are the capsules produced?

Nespresso belongs to the international company Nestlé, which is a Swiss-based company. The production of the Nespresso coffee capsules is in different places like: Avenches / Waadt / Orbe and Romont (FR)
The produced coffee capsules are distributed in over 60 countries!

2. How much aluminium is needed for one capsule?

1.13 grams of aluminium is needed to produce one capsule.

3. What other materials are used in the production of coffee capsules?

The main material is aluminium, but capsules also include plastic and other chemical substances like dye for capsule. Surprisingly, aluminium is very bad for the body! It causes cancer, but due to its light weight and cheap price it is the perfect material for coffee capsules.

4. In which country do the word’s biggest coffee drinkers live?

Scandinavians consume the largest amount of coffee, however it is very astonishing that despite its small size, Switzerland also has a large amount of coffee consumers. A Swiss person consumes 7.9 kilograms of coffee per year.

5. How many coffee capsules are produced in one year

4.8 Billion coffee capsules are produced every year. This is approximately 600 times Switzerland (Swiss population)

6. How is the Recycling process of a coffee capsule?

The protection of the environment is very important for Nespresso because Aluminium has a endless long lifetime. Therefore, there are 2600 collection centers situated in Switzerland, where the waste is collected. You also can bring your used coffee capsule back to a Nespresso store. Nespresso can save 95% of energy when they can use the recycled material instead of new aluminium. Today Nespresso can take back 80% of the used capsules. They recycle them for new capsules.

  • There are 14 000 collection centers around the world
  • 30 countries have Nespresso capsule recycling-centers
  • 13 countries have a recycling@home option (you can give the used capusles to your mailman)

The way how the coffee capsules are recycled is with this video below very good explained. Enjoy it.

short video about the recycling

THE SURVEY out of 52 persons who signed up for the survey

1. How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

35% drink 1-2 coffees
12% drink 3-7 coffees
2 % drink more than 7 cooffees

2. Do you recycle the coffee capsules?

64% answered with YES
36% answered with NO

2.1. Why don’t you recycle your coffee capsules?

1. I am too lazy
2. It is too time consuming
3. Comfort

Our opinion to the results of the survey:

The participants of our survey were mostly young people between the ages of 18 to 25. We are quite happy, that the people in our age do not drink that much coffee but we assume that this number will raise straightly due to the whole coffee marketing strategies (aka George Clooney). Although it’s not that bad that most of the participants recycle the capsules. Normally so many young people could not care less about environment and recycling. A solution to motivate young people and also people in general to recycle is to create projects like this which people are forced to do research and get shocked by the facts. Especially the role of the parents is very important. If the children can see what recycling means, then they will adopt this attitude.

We used the homepage Survey Monkey. It is for free but you can only consult 100 people.


We decided to write about coffee capsules, because it is a product we use every day. Especially as Swiss people we consume a lot of coffee capsules. We personally learned interesting things while doing the research. I hope, that other people can benefit from our project as well. At first we had some difficulties to find motivation because we didn’t know how to start. However, we decided to make a movie and then we worked a lot and very efficiently.


Before we started writing this post, both of us were not addicted coffee drinkers. Usually we drink maximum 1 cup of coffee a day. Therefore after writing this post, our behaviour did not change at all. We came to the conclusion, that we want to keep our coffee consumption on the same level as before, since consuming a lot of coffee isn’t all too healthy for our bodies and the environment.
We hope you liked our post!

With Love

Jeannette and Refika 🙂




Sources we used for our project:
Wie schädlich ist Kapselkaffee? [zeitenschrift.com]
Aluminium: Wie schädlich ist Kapselkaffee? [zeitenschrift.com]
Nespresso [de.wikipedia.org]
Kaffeekapsel [de.wikipedia.org]
Nespresso [nespresso.com]
Welches Land trinkt am meisten Kaffee? [kaffee4life.de]

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

4 thoughts on “What’s behind the coffee capsule?

  1. This article was very interesting. I’ve read it because I love coffee and to be honest I don’t recycle coffee capsules. By reading this text I’ve learnt a lot of new informations. But I thought it was a pity that I couldn’t find out how to recycle a coffee capsule or where I can recycle it. Through this story I’ve changed my view about beeing lazy and don’t recycle coffee capsules, now I think different and the first step I’m going to do is to explore in the internet, how to recycle coffee capsules.

  2. Very interesting and informative content! I never even thought that you could/should recycle coffee capsules, as I\’m not a coffee drinker myself. I\’m pleasantly surprised that there are so many collection centers, well done Nestle! But I hope that the percentage of non-recyclers decreases further in the future.
    Kudos to the creators for great content and design!

  3. This website is very interesting! To be honest I never recycled my capsules. Actually I never thought about doing it. But after reading this I have to admit that further on I have to recycle the capsule, otherwise I can not enjoy it anymore. A huge thanks to this two ladies for this eye opener!

  4. I like the content of this website.
    Im also a big coffe drinker and this post really changes my perspective on coffe and the energy that goes into producing the capsules.
    Although we always recycle our capsules I was shocked to see the % of people that dont. In this day and age I feel that recycling should be a way of life! Its important to care about out environment. Therefore I enjoyed reading this post and learning abit more about out coffe habbits.

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