It’s no secret that single-cup coffee machines save early-morning minutes, but they also produce way more waste than a standard coffee maker. So coffee and espresso machine brand Nespresso discovered a way to transform used metal pods into the exterior of a Swiss Army knife. Nespresso officially began their partnership with Victorinox Swiss Army in order to upcycle their colorful aluminum coffee pods into sleek pocket knives in 2016. Now, there's a limited edition release of the knives.
To create the gadget, used Nespresso pods are melted down and cast into the classic Swiss Army knife shape. While they’re a different color than the original version, according to Victorinox’s website, the knives “still consist completely of recycled Nespresso capsules.” The knives are available online and in certain Victorinox retail stores.
Although Victorinox’s website states that the knives were created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nespresso’s recycling program, the company has faced similar criticism as Keurig and other coffee pod producers. While there’s no doubt that coffee pods are bad for the environment, I have to applaud the brand for actually taking it upon themselves to create upcycled products. While the creator of K-Cups has admitted he regrets inventing the plastic pods, the most Keurig has done as a company is hire a Chief Sustainability Officer and launch a line of pods that can be recycled, as long as people are willing to separate the plastic, metal, and paper components of the pods. Even if Nespresso is just trying to make money from trash, anything is better than clogging landfills with trillions of tiny pods.
Currently the Swiss Army knives are being sold as limited edition items, but hopefully Nespresso won't stop experimenting with how to reuse the empty pods. Otherwise, I worry that in a hundred years all that may be left on Earth will be a robot and its pet cockroach swimming through a coffee pod ocean.