New life for used coffee capsules

Do you know how many coffee pods you use per day? One in the morning. Another one after lunch. We're not that far, right?

If one third of Europe’s population used two coffee capsules a day, more than 700 capsules would be used per year, per person. This corresponds to more than 170 million espresso coffees and, of course, equal number of used, wasted coffee pods. Have you thought about the amount of materials needed to produce that many coffee capsules? It’s time to upcycle your used coffee pods.

  1. Lamps

    Do you have an outdated lamp lying around or an ugly lampshade just begging to be revamped? Maybe it’s time to put them out of their misery and restyle them with flattened used coffee pods.

    To flatten your used coffee capsules, use a hammer – carefully! – or firmly step on them. Let your creativity run wild and arrange the coffee pods around the shade or the lightbulb. You can choose to stay monochrome or go truly colourful, make patterns or keep it minimal, or even overlay the capsules for more texture.

Mini vases made of coffee capsules

Coffee capsules can be used as mini vases for succulent plants.

  1. Mini garden

    Make use of your used coffee capsules by turning them into mini vases for succulent plants – cactus, for instance. Then, arrange these lovely mini vases vertically or hang them with pieces of rope for a more organic look. As an alternative, you can arrange the coffee capsule on a deep plate and use it as a centerpiece. A small paradise inside your home.

  1. Jewellery

    Did you know that flattened used coffee pods could be turned into fashionable earrings, necklaces or bracelets? If DIY is your thing, put your pliers to work and create your very own exclusive jewellery. You can even design brooches, buttons and cufflinks, or hair accessories! Who knows what might come of that? – Maybe even a good idea for an original gift!

Flowers made of used coffee capsules

Flattened used coffee pods could become nice pieces of jewelry.

  1. Fairy lights

    You just need to make a small hole on the bottom of your used coffee pods to create beautiful fairy lights. Then, push small LED lights through the opening and hang your new lights wherever you want. Think about your balcony, your headboard, around a window… or even, a private starry sky over your bed.

  2. Frames

    Be it photographs or mirrors, an eye-catching frame is always a good addition to any home. Glue some colourful used coffee pods, flattened or whole (for a three-dimensional effect ) on a plain frame and display your new art piece in your favourite room. Lastly, get ready to get complimented by your guests!

Coffee capsules to grow sprouts

Used coffee capsules can be used to grow sprouts.

  1. Plant nursery

    Do you remember growing bean sprouts in primary school? How exciting was that? Well, no need to reminisce, because used coffee pods are perfect to watch a little bean become a big sprout. Don’t let your children miss out on that experience and do a little science project with them. Nature is not only beautiful but also fun.

  1. Candleholders and candlesticks

    Tall candles are extremely elegant and can give out a sophisticated atmosphere to any room in your house, especially in a beautiful candlestick. Use your used coffee pods to make original candleholders and candlesticks – or, if you’re up to the task, even a chandelier! Just insert your tall candles into a few aluminium or plastic pods and glue it to a nice base layer, like a decorative ceramic plate. Who said elegance had to be expensive?

  2. Decor pieces

    Flowers or angels, all ideas are good. Put your creativity at test and try out original ideas to transform your used coffee capsules in unique decor pieces. It might be as simple as making a few cuts in the capsules with a scissor. Et voilá! Your coffee capsules just became a rose bouquet.

Roses made of coffee capsules

Rose bouquet made of used coffee capsules.

Not a fan of arts and crafts?

If DIY is not your preferred hobby, you can also recycle the coffee capsules. However, in some countries, coffee pods cannot go in kerbside recycling. Find out how you can dispose of your used coffee pods – either with your borough or with your coffee pod seller – or if recycling is available in your country. Some brands offer free coffee pod collection.

When in Portugal, you can dispose of your used coffee pods in special recycling bins intended for coffee pods. You can find the “Capsulão” in more than 370 Pingo Doce stores. All the coffee pods collected in these special bins are sent to a recycling facility and all the profit is handed to solidarity institutions.