Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the importance of dealing with coffee waste, and how businesses can benefit from an economic perspective and simultaneously help protect the environment.
As the demand for coffee has been on the rise, with the daily consumption of coffee surpassing 95 million cups in the UK in 2017, one should question: What are the important stages at which the issue of coffee residue can be tackled and what are the potential benefits that can be achieved?
At the Early Stage of Coffee Production
The first stage is during the initial production phase of coffee beans where we can look into the various ways that the “pulp”, the outer skin of the coffee cherry, can be reused.
As it is not a commonly used byproduct of coffee, it tends to end up in landfills. Alternatively, it can be reproduced as a substitute for either flour or tea, helping businesses with retailing various coffee byproducts, and minimizing their economic and environmental impact.
At the Ulterior Stage of Coffee Consumption
As the largest amount of coffee waste generated is through wasted coffee grounds, the second and most key point is by looking at the variety of ways that used coffee grounds can be handled.
Instead of them being thrown away into landfills, different approaches can be followed, such as the creation of eco-heat logs for heating, capable of reducing C02 emissions by more than 80%. Eco-heat logs is not the only fully-developed method for repurposing used coffee grounds. An effective biofuel, capable of fully operating a bus for an entire year can be manufactured with just 2.55 million coffee cups. In addition, the production of environmentally friendly and reusable coffee cups can further reduce the impact of coffee waste from an environmental perspective and help generate capital investments for businesses.
All in all, it’s necessary to rethink the ways that coffee residue should be handled. With more than 500,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds being produced annually in the UK, the potential behind the generated waste is enormous towards supporting all aspects of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.