Coffee on wheels?

Vélosophy has rolled out a limited edition of one thousand bicycles, each made from 300 recycled Nespresso Arpeggio coffee capsules, its partner in the endeavour.

The managers at the Swedish company state that the bicycles were made “using recycled aluminium, which is a beautiful way to sustain the Earth’s resources and just one of the ways we put life in motion”.

RE:CYCLE has a striking purple frame inspired by the Arpeggio coffee capsules, a basket with cup holders and a bell in the shape of a coffee capsule. The price is set at €1,290 and the bike can only be bought via the company’s website.

Bicycles offered to communities in Africa

For every bike sold, Vélosophy will donate another to a schoolgirl in a developing country – supporting communities in Ghana – to improve her access to education. Data from non-profit organisation World Bicycle Relief shows that having a bike increases the girls’ attendance by 28% and improves their academic performance by 59%.

Nespresso coffee capsules

Nespresso coffee capsules

Recycling aluminium

The man behind the idea is Vélosophy’s founder, Jimmy Östholm, who, intrigued by Nespresso’s recycling campaign, asked about obtaining some of the packaging. From there, he began exploring possible uses in an effort to convert the waste into “something useful”.

Every bit of aluminium that exists could be recycled again into new products. I think that’s really the message here.

Jimmy Östholm, Vélosophy’s founder

The greatest challenge was finding a way to convert the aluminium capsules into a material that was rigid enough to meet bicycle manufacturing safety standards. As it is infinitely recyclable, “every bit of aluminium that exists could be recycled again into new products. I think that’s really the message here,” says Jimmy Östholm.

For Nespresso, the project shows consumers the potential of recycling coffee capsules – in landfills, capsules take about 150 years to decompose. The Nestlé Group company guarantees that its capsules are 100% recyclable using a system created in Switzerland in 1991 and which has already been introduced in more than 50 countries.