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Nespresso teams up with Sweden's Vélosophy for bike made from recycled coffee capsules

Limited edition of 1,000 bikes goes on sale

Nescafé-owned Nespresso has teamed up with Swedish bike brand Vélosophy to produce a bicycle made from recycled aluminium coffee capsules.

Called RE:CYCLE, it is being sold in a limited edition of 1,000 bikes, and comes in bright purple to reflect the colour of the capsules of Nespresso’s popular Arpeggio blend.

It also comes with a bell that mimics the shape of a Nespresso capsule, as well as a cupholder on the basket.

Nespresso CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin commented: "Through our collaboration with Vélosophy, we're illustrating to coffee lovers the potential of recycling their aluminium Nespresso capsules.

"By using recycled capsules to make beautiful bicycles, Vélosophy bring sustainability and style together to create a truly meaningful experience, bringing to life the importance of recycling.

"We have been inspired by working with Vélosophy, and I hope the RE:CYCLE bicycle inspires people to recycle."

Jimmy Östholm, CEO and Founder of Vélosophy, added: "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 aluminium.

“I see in Nespresso a strong commitment to sustainability, which is why this has been the dream partnership.

“We are proud to have co-created a bike that takes on the future. It is beautifully designed, responsibly sourced and sustainably produced."

The bike is now on sale through the Vélosophy website, costing €1,290 plus shipping.

Vélosophy claims to be “the only bicycle brand in the world with a full one-for-one promise,” saying that for each bike they sell or rent out, “another is given to a schoolgirl in Africa to improve her access to education.”

However, Staffordshire-based Elephant Bikes, which sells refurbished former Royal Mail Pashley Pronto bicycles, also donates a bike to Malawi for each one it sells here.

It’s not the first time a bike has been made from recycled Nespresso capsules. In 2017, we reported how a bike made from them – a bit more of a racier number than this one – was made as one-off by Czech bike manufacturer Festka and sold for 160,000 CZK (just over £5,000) at a charity auction.

> Bike made out of recycled Nespresso capsules sold at a charity auction

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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8 comments

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CasperCCC | 4 years ago
1 like

This article surprised me: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coffee-pods-nespresso-recycling

Apparently if you do a full analysis of the environmental impact, then Nespresso pods are about the most sustainable way of drinking coffee, as long as you send the pods back to be recycled. (Which a lot of people won't do, granted.)

Most of the damage is done by growing the coffee itself, and the pods use less coffee than other methods.

So this is a a greenwashing gimmick for sure, but it still surprised me that my aeropress habit is probably doing more harm than my Nespresso problem. (I do recycle the pods - to be fair to Nespresso, they do make it really easy.)

Avatar
Rick_Rude replied to CasperCCC | 4 years ago
0 likes
CasperCCC wrote:

This article surprised me: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coffee-pods-nespresso-recycling Apparently if you do a full analysis of the environmental impact, then Nespresso pods are about the most sustainable way of drinking coffee, as long as you send the pods back to be recycled. (Which a lot of people won't do, granted.) Most of the damage is done by growing the coffee itself, and the pods use less coffee than other methods. So this is a a greenwashing gimmick for sure, but it still surprised me that my aeropress habit is probably doing more harm than my Nespresso problem. (I do recycle the pods - to be fair to Nespresso, they do make it really easy.)

Interesting but sort of what people are kind of putting to back of their minds about a lot of things they buy. I think I read something once that agriculture was worse for the environment per £ of revenue than industry. The end point being there are too many people. The problem being how do we ratchet ourselves down without poverty.  

Avatar
Simon E replied to CasperCCC | 4 years ago
1 like
CasperCCC wrote:

This article surprised me: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coffee-pods-nespresso-recycling Apparently if you do a full analysis of the environmental impact, then Nespresso pods are about the most sustainable way of drinking coffee, as long as you send the pods back to be recycled. (Which a lot of people won't do, granted.) Most of the damage is done by growing the coffee itself, and the pods use less coffee than other methods. So this is a a greenwashing gimmick for sure, but it still surprised me that my aeropress habit is probably doing more harm than my Nespresso problem. (I do recycle the pods - to be fair to Nespresso, they do make it really easy.)

So let's all stop drinking filter/espresso coffee to save the planet. Yeah, right.

"instant coffee extracts a lot from the bean, so uses less coffee per cup,"

OK let's drink shitty instant coffee because, well, taste is less important than saving the planet. Except that of course this would have an even smaller impact than ditching plastic drink straws and the other little tokenistic acts.

Further down the article it suggests that our grandchildren won't have much choice as the Arabica beans are likely to be seriously affected by climate change.

Meanwhile the article does not appear to discuss the environmental impact of the packaging and transport of the pods or the manufacture and lifetime footprint of the machines. Or how Nestlé is one of the least ethical companies in existence. I certainly won't stop boycotting them just yet.

Avatar
NPlus1Bikelights | 4 years ago
1 like

For the price of the pods they should just send them to random customers. Plenty of great quality Nespresso compatible biodegradable pods are available now. Just switch to those if you feel guilty rather than this. I didn't want to throw the term greenwashing in but this does look like someone spotted Team INEOS methods. 

They do have recycle methods similar to Brita filters (collection boxes etc) but I do wonder how many customers bother.

Or if you actually do like decent coffee, learn how to use a Moka pot or Aeropress properly, they are not at all expensive and results compare to very expensive pressure based electric machines. 

 

Avatar
RobD | 4 years ago
1 like

Apparently they've used 300,000 of the pods to make the 1,000 bikes, compared to the ridiculous volume they sell it's a drop in the ocean. It would be good if they were actually recycling the pods into either new pods, or into raw form aluminium for use in other industries.

Still seem a bit of a waste vs a bag full of beans, although those have their own issues too.

Avatar
peted76 | 4 years ago
1 like

Yes indeed, greenwashing to the nth degree I'd say. 

It's also just schoolgirl s who benefit from this greenwashing... seems like the PR intern has been let loose on this one. Surprised they haven't gone the whole hog and said they'd only give bikes to minority group orphans in hospital.

However that is a very nice looking bike and.. coffee!

Avatar
HarrogateSpa | 4 years ago
11 likes

This is an attempt to distract from the fact that they use an outrageous amount of packaging for a tiny amount of coffee.

99.999999% of this packaging will not be recycled into bicycles - it will be thrown away. Instead of making bikes out of the capsules, stop producing such a wasteful product. Instead of trying to make it look as though you're doing something for the environment, actually do something meaningful for the environment.

No more greenwashing. Down with this sort of thing.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
1 like

Why would a coffee lover be using Nespresso?

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