Sweden's Vélosophy makes an urban bike out of recycled coffee pods
Single-use coffee pods continue to be a significant environmental dilemma with billions entering landfill around the globe each year, but some are finding creative ways to give them a second life. Swedish bike maker Vélosophy has retrieved hundreds of thousands of these aluminum capsules and used them to build a line of stylish urban bikes, which feature a few final touches inspired by a love of caffeine.
Coffee pods like those popularized by Nespresso’s George Clooney-led campaign have ballooned in popularity of late, and so too has the environmental backlash. The company’s former CEO Jean-Paul Gailard cottoned onto the massive amounts of waste they create and went on to lead a company that makes biodegradable versions instead.
To its credit, Nespresso has also made moves to rein in the rubbish through recycling schemes of its own, but recycling aluminum, already an energy-intensive material to produce, isn’t going to be as environmentally friendly as avoiding them altogether.
In any case, rather than relying on regular aluminum for its limited edition Re:cycle bike, Vélosophy gathered 300,000 Nespresso pods and melted them down to carve out frames for a run of 1,000. The recycled aluminum makes up the frame, while other components such as the Shimano 5-speed shifters and mechanical disc brakes are made out of traditional materials.
The carrier basket is made out of Scandinavian oak and features a pair of cup holders for caffeine lovers on the go, while the bell is actually inspired by the shape of a coffee capsule, which Vélosophy describes as “iconic.”
“I see in Nespresso a strong commitment to sustainability, which is why this has been the dream partnership,” says Jimmy Östholm, CEO and Founder of Vélosophy. “We are proud to have co-created a bike that takes on the future. It is beautifully designed, responsibly sourced and sustainably produced.”
The company is offering 1,000 Re:cycle bikes through its website now, for a price of €1,290 (US$1,430) apiece.