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.


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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.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

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Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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