Bicycle made from 300 Nespresso pods takes recycling to a whole new level
Vélosophy

Single-use coffee pods might make a good cup of joe, but they're detrimental to the environment.

"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, an environmental nonprofit organization, told USA Today. "Many end up getting incinerated, dumping poison into our air, water and our soil."

Currently, 29,000 single-use coffee pods are thrown away each minute. You have to ask yourself, is it worth filling up the landfills to satisfy your caffeine habit? While the aluminum capsules are recyclable, it's not as easy as tossing them in the bin. Instead, you typically have to take them a designated collection point created by the brand.

But Nespresso has taken it one step further by using its recycled pods to make a bicycle, illustrating the potential for repurposing the often thrown out by-product of its coffee.


RELATED: Half of Americans don't recycle their beauty products. Here's how you can change that.

The company partnered with Swedish lifestyle bike brand Vélosophy to create the design, dubbed 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 press release.

The limited-edition RE:CYCLE is the brainchild of former Ikea communications manager and current entrepreneur,Jimmy Östholm, who founded Vélosophy. It retails for $1,446 on the Vélosophy website. Each bike is made out of 300 Nespresso pods, and yes, it has a cup holder. For each bicycle sold, Vélosophywill donate a bicycle to a girl in Ghana so she can get to school.

Östholmapproached Nespresso about acquiring recycled aluminum after being inspired by the company's recycling campaigns. Östholmsays it was a bit of a challenge to shape the lightweight aluminum into a sturdy and safe bicycle, but he soon figured it out. "I wanted to start a conversation about aluminum," Östholm told Fast Company. "I think many consumers are interested in knowing where their materials come from, but there is just less awareness about aluminum as, for example, plastic."

RELATED: Horrified by how much plastic is in the ocean, this girl ramped up her recycling game

Because the material can be repurposed indefinitely, Nespresso encourages its customers to make sure they aren't single use products by recycling them. If they end up in the landfill, they'll take 150 years to decompose. But if you recycle them, you can have a full bicycle on your hands in a fraction of that time. As of right now, Wired estimates 25% of Nespresso pods are recycled.

This isn't the only time Nespresso pods have been turned into something other than a cup of coffee. They've been used to create Swiss Army knives, ballpoint pens, and even other Nespresso pods.

If you want to recycle your Nespresso pods and consume your coffee guilt-free, you can take your pods to one of the company's collection points. There are 122,000 locations across the world. Once turned over, they will be processed by a recycling plant where the aluminum from the pods will be separated from the coffee grounds. The coffee grounds are then turned into topsoil, compost, and even biogas.

And who knows? Maybe you'll be able to ride your former coffee pods to work one day.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

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