Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Jisu Han on Unsplash

A platform for recycling coffee capsules

Food & Drink

The device separates organic waste from metal, making home composting and standard recycling possible


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Spotted: Coffee is a popular drink, and the market continues to grow, with an increasing number of people turning to the convenience of coffee pods at home and at work. The problem with these capsules is that very few are recycled, with leading coffee brand Nespresso estimating that only 30 per cent of its consumers recycle the pods. One of the main stumbling blocks in recycling coffee capsules are the grounds that remain in the pod after it has been used. 

Spanish company Recycap is making it easier for home users to recycle both the capsules themselves and leftover grounds with its React (Recycap Automated Coffee Technology) recycling device. Used pods are tossed into the device that then automatically cleans the capsules and separates the two materials for easier, more sustainable disposal. 

The grounds can be collected for composting, and the cleaned capsules become recyclable in standard facilities. By removing the need for recycling facilities to separate organic waste from metal, the React device could save billions of pieces of recyclable rubbish from ending up in landfill or being incinerated.  

The React device has the capacity to recycle up to 600 capsules per hour, making the technology convenient for large office buildings and in high traffic public spaces, such as grocery and convenience stores. Recycap has also created a coffee machine with the recycling technology integrated, so users can minimise the number of appliances they have on countertops. Available in red, black, or white, the coffee machine is compatible with most brands of coffee pods, making it easy to switch to a more sustainable brewing system. 

The startup recently raised €400,000 to further develop its technologies and get them on the market.

Other coffee-focused innovations that Springwise has spotted include car interiors made from coffee pulp and a platform that encourages environmentally responsible coffee bean production.  

Written By: Keely Khoury




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