Upcycled jewellery from coffee pods -a small step towards Nespresso recycling
The Boon & Blight of Coffee Pods
Coffee has had a worldwide resurgence thanks to both the speciality coffee movement as well as the easy to use coffee pod based machines like the Nespresso, Dolce Gusto & Tassimos. These coffee pod machines are loved by consumers because of the ability to have a variety of coffee shop style with the press of a button in the comfort of their home.
The global market for fresh ground coffee pods went from $7 billion in 2010 to $17 billion in 2015.
But this results in an environmental problem with billions of used coffee pods being created each year. Nespresso, the inventor of these pod machines has been the global market leader for both the machines and the pods.
As of 2012 (no recent numbers available), Nespresso had sold over 27 billion pods worldwide from the inception of these machines in 1986.
Nespresso pods are made from aluminium and plastic, and currently not accepted for recycling. So they make their way into black bags and when sent to landfills these take over a hundred years to break down.
Therefore, recycling of coffee pods and specifically Nespresso recycling has become a major concern for environmentalists and sustainability champions.
Nestle, the company behind Nespresso is proud of its sustainability record on the sourcing of coffee itself. Nespresso on realising the problem of the used coffee pods, tied up with Terracycle, a global recycling firm for disposal. Terracycle smelts the aluminium, composts the coffee and the plastics gets extruded or converted into pellets to be used in other plastic products.
The following are the current options that Nespresso offers in the UK for consumers to help with recycling of pods
1. Drop off the used pods at Collectplus
Order pod recycling bags online from Nespresso. These take about 200 pods. When full, print a Collectplus label and find a Collectplus location where you can drop it off. There are 6000 plus stores of Collectplus across the UK. See https://www.nespresso.com/uk/en/recycling for more details.
2. Drop off with Doddle
With the recycling bags, you can simply drop off the pods at Doddle, no labels are required.
3. Drop off used pods at Nespresso boutique
You can always recycle the pods at any Nespresso boutique near you.
4. Request a collection from home
If you order Nespresso pods online, you can request a recycling collection at the same time as your next delivery.
These steps above involve the consumer having to put in additional effort to recycle these pods. The moment it needs a separate initiative on the part of the consumer that is different to their current waste management, it means that many will still prefer to simply black bag the pods.
With the billions of used coffee pods being generated each year, options for recycling more easily will have to be devised to prevent the used pods going in the black bags.
Upcycled Nespresso pod based jewellery
The Nespresso pods are beautiful and attractive looking with jewel colours. A set of jewellery designers interested in sustainability therefore have gone about creating jewellery from the coffee pods.
This is a showcase of five jewellery designers from all over the world whose designs are attractive to a wide range of tastes. Most of it is also affordable jewellery, so certainly worth a try.
The painstaking time spent to crinkle the pods to create a hand fan effect combined with the vivid colour combinations make these statement pieces. These pieces are perfect for confident women who would like to have people guessing about the origins of the material used for the necklace.
Naomi & Isabel are two creative artists who live in Switzerland and create beautiful and carefully crafted pieces of Nespresso based jewellery.
The delicate work of Naomi & Isabel’s work with careful pastel combinations means that these look like beautiful jewellery you can wear for any occasion. This does have the advantage of being a conversation starter when people try and figure out where they may have seen some of the familiar colours before.
Shoshi is based in Israel and combines multiple shades of Nespresso pods to create quirky statement jewellery. The crumpled look of the pods is a look that multiple designers have used successfully including Shoshi. She tends to pick specific colour combinations to create a mood – whether autumnal or moody blues.
Lior is based in Amsterdam and creates stylish bold pieces with the Nespresso pods. The large statement rings in the jewel colours of the Nespresso pod make great cocktail rings. Matching cuffs and earrings give you the opportunity to have a jewellery set in your favourite colour.
Gina is based in Romania and skilfully incorporates beads into her nespresso pod based designs. These give her designs a unique twist. The carefully matched glass cabochons and gemstones help bring out the beauty of her designs.
Want to try your hand at this kind of jewellery?
Are you motivated to have a go at creating some of this kind of jewellery yourself? Then check out these video tutorials on youtube, from designers Naomi & Isabel.
Upcycled pods are a tiny percentage of Nespresso recycling, but every effort made to recycle these pods really matters. The efforts of these jewellery designers should be lauded for demonstrating that it is possible to create jewellery from the Nespresso pods. This recycling and recycling in general is what you’ll be doing to ensure a planet that’s sustainable and thriving for your children and their children.