Coffee Capsules Are Not Recyclable Curbside Email Coffee capsule packaging creates about 966 million pounds of waste annually. So can’t we recycle the capsules? Sadly, not at the curbside. The outer cups of coffee capsules are made of plastic, so in theory, they are recyclable. However, the little cups are too small to be sorted properly by recycling facilities, so they end up in the trash. Also, the lid and filter of each cup are not recyclable — only the outer plastic cup. Coffee capsules need to be recycled through alternative programs, such as TerraCycle’s or Nespresso’s, in order to be processed correctly. However, for most of us, all of that extra work isn’t worth it. Instead of using disposable capsules, try a reusable capsule like the EZ-Cup. It will work in your single-serve coffee machine with any kind of coffee, and it uses a biodegradable filter. Or consider a compostable single-serve capsule, such as the PurPod100. You could also try a more traditional method of making your morning brew. For instance, French presses and espresso makers don’t require any single-use materials. Percolators or pour-over coffee kits, on the other hand, only require a coffee filter.