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A New 3D Printing Filament Is Made from Recycled Coffee Pods (3D Natives)

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As issues related to global warming continue to arise, people around the world are constantly searching for solutions to our environmental concerns. One notable one is seeking ways to address the growing waste issue, with the World Bank estimating that global waste would grow to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050. It is for this reason that recycling and especially the concept of a circular economy have become so popular. In the latest news, a project developed by a group of researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (USFCar) and the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and in the United Kingdom at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) seeks to combine the concept of the circular economy with coffee pods and 3D printing. More specifically, the teams have succeeded in using used coffee capsules as raw material to manufacture filaments suitable for 3D printing.

Indeed, this is not the first project that seeks to target coffee pods in particular. These single-use capsules have been the center of quite a storm of commentary in recent years. The global market is expected to grow to about $50B by 2030 according to Straits Research, with the US and Europe especially depending on them for their daily caffeine fix. However, controversies have arisen over how “sustainable” they really are as recycling can be difficult and many not doing it. Indeed, Nespresso, one of the leading suppliers, has stated that only about 30% of its pods are recycled, meaning most end up in a landfill. As such more and more people are finding ways to address the problem, including this latest venture. (Read more)