A unique bicycle from Czech frame builder Festka was sold in a charity auction at Prague Fashion Week. The bike was notable because it was made from recycled Nespresso coffee capsules with the funds from the auction going to support the Tereza Maxová foundation which helps disadvantaged children.
Nespresso packages their coffee in an aluminum casing in order to keep it well preserved and fresh to deliver the ground coffee in a convenient way. The capsules are recyclable meaning that Festka was able to use the recycled material from the capsules to build a frame. It is no secret that bike aficionados are also often coffee lovers as well.
In 2016, nearly 61 tonnes of Nespresso capsules were recycled worldwide. Improving the system of recycling their capsules is one of the companies main concerns and the project was designed to show that there are many possibilities when it comes to the reuse of the materials used for packaging their product. Most recycled aluminum in the Czech Republic ends up in automotive production.
“Aluminium has a long history of use in cycling manufacture industry. Creating a bicycle from recycled aluminum capsules and giving a second chance to this material was a big challenge to us”, said Michael Moureček, the co-founder of Festka. “We went one step further and combined aluminum with carbon composite based on the blueprint of the successful Doppler model creating a truly state-of-the -art bike both in terms of its looks and in terms of the usage of the materials”.
In order to build the frame, the companies had to first find a producer willing to work with a small quantity of the recycled capsules. In Tomáš Grus, the owner of a Czech aluminum foundry Al-Solid that specializes in aluminum processing, they found a partner. The company cast tubes of aluminum that were later thinned and further processed to achieve the desired wall strength. The surface was then sandblasted and polished. The tubes contained approximated 1,000 Nespresso capsules.
The rear wheel on the Festka Doppler for Nespresso has a kaleidoscopic display of 21 Nespresso colours. Moureček explains the idea behind the design, “We try to imprint the story of the client in each bike we create in our shop. Although it was a challenging task to fulfill, it is utterly rewarding and inspiring to know we are building not only a bicycle but a strong narrative capable to move people and resonating with them,” he said.
Production of the bike took three weeks. At the auction, the bike fetched 160 000 Czech Koruna, the equivalent of $8,600.