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Swedish company puts the pedal to the metal with your recycled coffee pods

Could being eco-friendly be any more stylish than this? We don’t think so! In collaboration with Nespresso, Swedish start-up Vélosophy took 300 used Nespresso coffee capsules to create RE:CYCLE –– this sweet ride with a price tag of nearly $1,500! As they say, what goes around, comes around, and after two years of preparing, RE:CYCLE is ready to take for a spin. The development is Nespresso’s way of encouraging more people to recycle their coffee capsules, fostering a circular economy. The aluminum capsules can be melted down and have been turned into other things such as Swiss army knives, luxury pens, and new coffee capsules.
coffee pod for bell

Jimmy Östholm, RE:CYCLE’s brainchild, hopes to inspire other product designers to use recycled aluminum in an effort to offset the continued demand for single-use capsules. In a recent study done by the UK coffee start-up, Halo, it was estimated that 56 billion single-use coffee capsules produced by manufacturers each year will end up in landfills. Moreover, Nespresso capsules in landfills take about 150 years to decompose, so getting customers to recycle them is more important than ever for sustainability. 

Much of Östholm’s inspiration and business model for Vélosophy came from his experience working at IKEA. The Swedish-founded furniture superstore champions the idea of “design for everyone,” and that quality products should be affordable, well-made, and good for the environment.

coffee pods

“Different products need different aluminum compositions…but just look at the recycling possibility,” Östholm says. “Every bit of aluminum that exists could be recycled again into new products. I think that’s really the message here.”

To save money on operation costs, Vélosophy conducts all its retail sales online. These savings also allows them to participate in “donate a bicycle to a schoolgirl,” which gives young girls in developing countries a bicycle for every one sold.


Nespresso’s CEO, Jean-Marc Duvoisin, said, “We’re illustrating to coffee lovers the potential of recycling their aluminum Nespresso capsules. We have been inspired by working with Vélosophy, and I hope the RE:CYCLE bicycle inspires people to recycle.” 

To further support repurposing used pods and overall sustainability, Nespresso has recruited celebrities and influencers to be featured in videos that encourage consumers to live more eco-friendly lifestyles and participate in their recycling program.

What most people who use coffee capsules may not know is that Nespresso makes recycling is SO easy. Any time you purchase capsules from Nespresso, simply request a recycling bag to keep your used capsules in. You have the option to send your capsules free by mail via UPS or simply drop them off at Nespresso the next time you visit.

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