illycaffè partners with TerraCycle® to recycle its capsules in european countries: they can be collected at home or sent out after use

Trieste, 26th October 2020 – Used capsules can be collected at home or sent out for recycling at the company’s expense: illycaffè has partnered with TerraCycle® to create a programme for the collection and recycling of illy capsules, including both plastic Iperespresso capsules and aluminum ones. The two companies launched their partnership in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria*, The Netherlands, and Belgium, where depending on the country consumers will be able to have used capsules picked up at home or mail them to TerraCycle®. This service is not yet available in Italy due to regulatory constraints regarding waste management.

illycaffè has always paid close attention to the environmental impact of its products, which it designs and perfects thanks to the work of its R&D labs and by activating circular economy programmes. These labs gave birth to the Iperespresso system, a technological innovation protected by five patents, which turns capsules into veritable extraction chambers. Unlike traditional methods, which produce espresso via percolation only, the new capsules use a two-phase system - hyperinfusion and emulsion - to make espresso.

In order to make this experience available to as many people as possible while meeting current consumption demands, illycaffè has now made its unique blend more widely available through its line of aluminum capsules that are compatible *** with Nespresso®** coffee machines.

In order to protect the environment and reduce the impact of the Iperespresso and compatible capsules – made respectively with polypropylene and aluminum – illycaffè turned to TerraCycle®, a global leader in recycling “hard-to-recycle” waste, who will collect the used capsules, separate out the coffee, and recycle the aluminum and plastic parts to create a new reusable material, while the coffee waste will be sent to an industrial composting plant.

In countries where the TerraCycle® service is not yet available, the Iperespresso capsules can be disposed of in the recycling bin by separating out the coffee using the Easy Capsules Opener, available from the illy website. 

illy customers who register on the illy website will be able to enjoy home collection of used capsules – thanks to a system already in place in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom – while customers in The Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium will be able to mail their used capsules to  TerraCycle®. More information on the programme is available from the illy website at

“illycaffè is a Benefit Corporation that has made a commitment to investing in promoting an environmentally sustainable lifestyle– comments Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè –.  We want to offer our customers the opportunity of making a cup of espresso at home as they would drink it in a bar, through the use of environmentally friendly capsules. For this reason, together with TerraCycle, we developed a circular economy programme that allows us to collect and give new life to both plastic and alumimum capsules, without any additional costs or hassles for consumers: we will take care of the entire process together with our partner”. 

Laure Cucuron, General Manager at TerraCycle Europe commented: “illycaffè is showing great initiative by making their products recyclable and TerraCycle is thrilled to be a part of their efforts. TerraCycle will be responsible for giving the capsules and coffee grounds a new lease of life by sending the grounds for composting, and turning the plastic and aluminium elements into a pellet or flake which can be used in the production of new, durable objects such as outdoor furniture or construction applications.”

About TerraCycle
Founded in 2001, TerraCycle ( is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. TerraCycle works with over one hundred major brands in twenty-one countries across the globe to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It repurposes that waste into new eco-friendly materials and products that are available online and through major retailers. The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s National recycling programmes, which are free fundraisers that pay schools, charities, and non-profits for every piece of waste they collect and return.

TerraCycle launched in the UK (  in September 2009 (its first market in Europe) and today operates in 12 European markets (UK, ROI, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Denmark). In the UK TerraCycle currently runs collection programmes for over 40 types of waste which can’t be accepted by local council run recycling systems.  For example, cheese packaging, yoghurt pouches, L.O.L. Surprise! packaging and products, cracker and biscuit wrappers, crisp packets, nuts, popcorn and pretzel packets, confectionery wrappers, contact lenses, baby food pouches, Pringles cans, bread packaging, writing instruments, disposable gloves, pet food packaging, air, home and laundry care waste, hand soap pumps and refill pouches, plastic ring carriers (hi-cones), toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, Aqua Optima water filters, personal care and beauty products / packaging, Tassimo & L’OR coffee pod / TDISC waste and Lavazza Eco Caps.  Currently more than 5,340,000 individuals and organisations across the UK have signed up to collect, which to date has diverted over 140 million items of packaging waste from landfill while earning over £1,440,000 for schools, charities, and non-profit organisations.

*  In Austria the project initially calls for recycling Iperespresso capsules only; compatible aluminum capsules will be added in the near future. 
** Third-party brand with no links to illycaffé S.p.A.
*** Compatible with many Nespresso®* coffee machines. For more information on which machines are compatible, visit