How did 300 Recycled Coffee Pods Become a Bicycle?

This takes recycling to a whole new level.

Aug 30, 2019


How did 300 Recycled Coffee Pods Become a Bicycle? | This takes recycling to a whole new level.

Nespresso pods can be turned into something other than just a great cup of coffee. They have been repurposed into an assortment of items including swiss Army knives, pens, other Nespresso pods and now, a bicycle.

Single-use coffee pods are made of aluminum which can be recycled over and over again by melting and reusing. Aluminum fits the saying give trash a second chance to a tee.

That is why it is easy to recycle and repurpose the pods. Nespresso partnered with Swedish lifestyle bike brand Vélosophy to create a stylish bicycle made from recycled aluminum coffee capsules that will show just how recyclable the pods are."The result is RE:CYCLE - a perfect balance of sustainability and style, designed to illustrate the potential of recyclable aluminum and motivate Nespresso fans to recycle their capsules," according to a company press release.

The idea of the limited- edition bicycle came from Jimmy Östholm, CEO and founder of Vélosophy. Östholm approached Nespresso to acquire the pods after he was inspired by the coffee company's commitment to sustainability. It works with the one-for-one philosophy of Vélosophy.

"We created Vélosophy with a clear purpose: to have a positive impact on the world. This purpose drives everything we do, from our promise to give a bike to a schoolgirl for every Vélosophy we sell, to producing our stylish city bikes from recycled aluminum," Östholm said in the press release.

Only 1,000 of the bright purple RE:CYCLE bikes were made and are available for purchase on Vélosophy's website for €1290 plus shipping. Each bicycle has a coffee capsule-shaped bell and comes with a cup holder so the rider can take his or her coffee with them. For every bicycle sold, the company will donate one to a schoolgirl in Ghana so she can have access to education.

Nespresso opened its first recycling center in 1991 and invests 40 million a year in the program according to the press release. Recycling is available in more than 53 countries and offers several options to their coffee consumers for returning the pods to the company for recycling. There are over 122,000 drop-off places, door-to-door collections, and a mail-back option.

But some people do not think this is enough. According to Wired, 29,000 single-use coffee pods are thrown away every minute. 

 "Coffee pods are one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics that are polluting our planet," John Hocevar, the campaign director of Greenpeace USA, told USA Today. "Many end up getting incinerated, dumping poison into our air, water and our soil."

So, enjoy your coffee guilt-free. Just remember to recycle the pods. You never know what they will turn up as next.

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.