February 09, 2024

Can you recycle private label coffee capsules?

Private label coffee capsules are becoming increasingly popular among hospitality businesses. They’re a great and popular way to enter the market if you don’t have the means to manufacture capsules.

Working with a private label partner has several advantages. It allows you to tap into a growing market without worrying about the process. Instead, a third party handles everything from roasting and grinding to filling and packing the capsules.

However, as the market for coffee capsules has grown, so has the awareness of their environmental impact. To address this, a number of sustainable options have emerged, including recyclable coffee capsules. But some people question whether or not you can recycle all coffee capsules – and what the alternatives are. Keep reading to clear things up and learn more.

A recycling sign hanging above private label coffee capsules.

How are coffee capsules recycled?

Recycling is the process of manually or chemically repurposing used materials – such as plastic and aluminum – into new products.

For example, Nespresso manufactures aluminum capsules and operates a recycling program where businesses and consumers can dispose of their capsule waste. After you return your used capsules to Nespresso stores, it transfers them to a specialized facility and prepares them for recycling.

While some municipal recycling programs do accept plastic and aluminum capsules, this is not always the case. Your capsules may be made from non-recyclable plastic, or the lid and shell may need to be separated.

In many cases, they will also only accept capsules that are properly prepared and cleaned for recycling, but this can be impractical for hospitality businesses. Similarly, if you’re selling capsules to consumers, you also need to consider that many people don’t know how to properly dispose of them.

Altogether, this means that many hospitality businesses and retailers have started looking for alternatives to recyclable coffee capsules.  

Which alternatives are available?

Several alternatives to recyclable capsule shells have entered the market in recent years – including both reusable and compostable coffee capsules. 

Manufacturers generally design reusable capsules for home consumers, as cleaning and refilling them regularly is extremely time-consuming. They’re also not infinitely reusable, as continued exposure to high pressures and temperatures will cause damage over time.

This leaves compostable coffee capsules – which can be certified for either home or commercial composting. The former means you can dispose of them in your home compost heap while the latter requires an industrial composting facility. Commercially compostable private label coffee capsules are the best option for most hospitality businesses.

Composting private label coffee capsules at a commercial composting facility.

What are commercially compostable private label coffee capsules?

Commercially compostable private label coffee capsules work the same as their non-compostable aluminum and plastic counterparts. They are the same shape, meaning they are compatible with Nespresso original line machines.

At Metropolis, we provide hospitality businesses with commercially compostable private label coffee capsules made from plant-based sustainable materials. We source the shells from Smile Beverage Werks LLC – a company committed to helping consumers enjoy the best coffee pods on the market with a minimal carbon footprint. 

Our private label coffee capsules are also certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and the Composter Manufacturing Alliance (CMA). This means they meet the highest standards for commercial composting in the country.

These certifications also allow you to dispose of Metropolis espresso capsules at any commercial composting facility in the US. These facilities transform the plant-based sustainable capsule shells into biomass, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Finding the right industrial composting facility is also straightforward, with several options:

  • Find a commercial composting facility near you using the Composting Facility Locator from the US Composting Council.
  • Contact your local recycling program to explore composting services.
  • Sign up for a private commercial composting service that collects compostable waste from your business and delivers it to the proper facility.

So, now you understand the benefits of commercially compostable private label coffee capsules, how do you source them?

Metropolis commercially compostable private label coffee capsules.

Metropolis private label espresso capsules

Metropolis private label coffee capsules are commercially compostable, meaning you can dispose of them easily and responsibly.

Through our private label service, you guarantee that you’re giving customers high-quality coffee in a convenient format, while also addressing any environmental concerns.

The first step is to decide what’s best for you and your customers. We’ll sit down with you to understand your needs, before developing a product complete with custom branded packaging. We also nitro-flush our capsules, meaning they stay fresh for 12 to 24 months.

Once developed, all that’s left is to ship your capsules in custom, branded packaging. No expensive equipment or training is necessary – we handle the entire process from start to finish.

If you’re a roaster looking to offer an existing coffee in packing format, you can also consider our co-packing service: where you supply the beans and we do the rest.

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit www.findacomposter.com or www.compostnow.org on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.

Metropolis Coffee

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