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Recycling Used Coffee Capsules and Coffee Grounds

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Grounds for Creativity: Unleashing the Recycling Potential of Used Coffee Grounds and Coffee Capsules

Feeling a tad guilty chucking out all that used coffee grounds? Well, guess what? Your coffee love can also be a force for good when it comes to protecting the environment! We're not suggesting you go on a caffeine-fueled frenzy, but we do have exciting news that can help offset any lingering guilt. By recycling your used coffee capsules and grounds, you have the power to make a positive impact on our planet. So, let go of that guilt as we explore how your love for coffee can contribute to a greener future.

Check for Mould

Before kickstarting your recycling journey, you will need to thoroughly inspect your coffee capsules and used grounds for the presence of mould. Though it is rare, mould can start growing as early as two days after use, although it typically takes longer to develop. That said, should you come across any mould, it is crucial to refrain from using it in any recycling methods that involve consumption, application to your face or body, or use on your pets. Your safety and well-being, as well as that of your loved ones, are our top priority, so it's best to err on the side of caution when it comes to mould and its potential risks.

How to open a coffee capsule

How to Open a Used Coffee Capsule

How to Open Used Coffee Capsules

  1. Open the coffee capsule and prepare it for recycling - You'll need a toothpick, a sharp object like a needle, or any suitable tool. Begin by gently poking the tool into the lid of the capsule, tracing around its edge to create a perforation. This will allow you to peel off the aluminium lid easily.
  2. Empty out the coffee grounds - Once the lid is removed, carefully empty the coffee grounds from within the capsule and store them for use later.
  3. Washing and recycling - Now, it's time to prepare the capsule for recycling. Since the capsule is made of aluminium, it can be placed with other recyclable metals. Before recycling, make sure to give the capsule a thorough rinse to ensure there are no traces of organic matter remaining. This simple process will help you responsibly dispose of the capsule while keeping the environment in mind.

3 Fun Ways to Repurpose Empty Coffee Capsules

  1. Tiny Planters: Transform your empty coffee capsules into adorable mini planters. Fill them with a bit of soil, add a tiny plant or succulent, and watch as your capsules bring a touch of greenery to your windowsill or desk.
  2. Mini Storage Containers: Use the empty coffee capsules to store small items like beads, buttons, or spices. They are perfect for organizing your craft supplies or adding a touch of charm to your kitchen.
  3. Use them as moulds for homemade soap or candles: Simply fill the capsules with melted wax or soap mixture and let them cool.

10 Ways to Recycle and Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds

1. Fertilise Your Plants

Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants to provide them with a natural fertiliser or add them to your compost pile.

Seedling growing

Use coffee grounds to fertilise plants

Used coffee grounds in a bowl near a door to repel insects

Place used coffee grounds in a bowl and place in a corner to use as a natural insect repellent

2. Natural Pest Repellent

Certain insects, like ants and slugs, dislike the smell of coffee. Therefore, you can create a barrier around areas where pests are a problem, such as your outdoor garden, or even common entry points to your home.

3. Exfoliating Face and Body Scrub

Coffee grounds can be used as a natural exfoliant for your skin. Mix them with coconut oil or your preferred carrier oil to create a gentle scrub that can exfoliate your face or body, leaving your skin feeling smooth and refreshed.

Coffee exfoliating scrub

Mix used coffee grounds with coconut oil to make an exfoliating face and body scrub

Used coffee grounds in a bowl in the fridge being used as an odour absorber

Used coffee grounds can also be used as odour absorbers

4. Odour Absorber

Forget spending loads on designer potpourri, coffee grounds have natural odour-absorbing properties that eliminate bad smells. Simply place dried coffee grounds in a bowl or small sachet to absorb unpleasant odours in your fridge, pantry, or even your shoes.

5. Cleaning Stubborn Stains

Coffee grounds can be used as a mild abrasive for cleaning stubborn stains or scuffs. Scrub pots, pans, or surfaces with coffee grounds to help remove grease, grime, and scratches effectively.

Coffee grounds being used to remove tough stains on pans

The granules of used coffee ground can help loosen and clean stubborn stains

Coffee candle

Make candles with used coffee grounds

6. DIY Candles

Use your coffee grounds to create unique and aromatic candles. Mix the grounds with melted wax and pour them into candle moulds or empty containers. The coffee grounds will give the candles a visually interesting texture and a subtle coffee fragrance when burned.

7. Pet Flea Treatment

Coffee grounds can be used as a natural deterrent for fleas on pets. Simply rub a small amount of dry coffee grounds into your pet's fur, which can help repel fleas and reduce itching. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before using it on your furry friend.


Coffee grounds can also be used on your pets as a flea deterrnt

Coffee in a spice mix

Mix Coffee Grounds with Spices to Make a Delicious Meat Rub

8. Flavourful Meat Rub

Your used coffee grounds are actually still full of flavour! By mixing your used coffee grounds together with other spices and seasonings of your choice, you can make your own signature meat rub right at home!

9. DIY Tie Dye

While your kids can’t share a cup of coffee with you, you can still use your spent coffee grounds to enjoy a fun, creative tie-dye adventure with them! To make used coffee ground dye, combine the used coffee grounds with hot water in a large container. Depending on the desired colour intensity, start with a few tablespoons of coffee grounds and adjust as needed.

Coffee tie dye

Make Tie Dye with Coffee

Used Coffee Ground on a wooden surface

Coffee Grounds can also help with maintaining wooden surfaces

10. Remove Scratches on Wooden Surfaces

Take a soft cloth or sponge and dip it into some dried coffee grounds. Gently rub the coffee grounds onto the scratched area, following the direction of the grain. Apply light pressure and continue rubbing the coffee grounds until the scratches start to fade. Be patient, as this process may take some time. It’s also best to test in an area that isn’t very visible to make sure you are happy with the result. You can add olive or vegetable oil after you’re done to add sheen and protection.

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