Storing and transporting used coffee capsules without separating the used coffee grinds from the real valuable, i.e. the aluminum shell, makes the recycling process inefficient, expensive, and "space hogging". So far, Nespresso has picked up the tab for collecting and recycling used capsules, but our team believes that those costs are adding to the prices consumers pay, putting Nespresso out of reach for some consumers, and sometimes driving consumers to seek cheaper alternatives. Besides, Nespresso only manages to recycle the capsules that reach it. So, overall, the status quo needs to change, and we found this a thought-provoking read:
Here, we present a mechanical tool to not just remove the used coffee grinds from spent capsules, but also to collapse and compact the aluminum part of the capsules, making them easier to store and then transport for recycling. We have integrated a pressure-activated tally counter to track the number of capsules processed (and those numbers can be digitally converted into readouts of carbon emissions decreased, of aluminum grams saved, of water liters saved, etc)- which gives consumers satisfaction from participating in the sorting and recycling process. Keeping tally also opens up avenues for quantifying capsules purchased versus capsules collapsed, for gamification, e.g. prize drawings, recycling leaderboards, social media sharing, etc.
We feel that this tool is simple, feasible, functional, FUN, and as a daily use item it shall be a constant icon for recycling and sustainability at the very point of waste generation.
Also see Project template, please.