Exactly *what* is recycled coffee?
It’s safe to say that we live in a coffee-loving society. We order massive cups of coffee in record-breaking numbers. Starbucks consistently creates creative coffee drinks to help us get our fix in new ways. Even our TV idols can’t get enough caffeine. But would you ever drink recycled coffee?
At first, the phrase “recycled coffee” may conjure images of people’s unfinished cups of joe. But that’s not what it is at all. Back in 2014, a company called bio-bean set out to reduce the coffee industry’s carbon footprint — and they’ve been wildly successful. Because with all of the coffee we enjoy comes a lot of waste. So bio-bean takes coffee grounds and upcycle them into biofuel pellets that make new coffee. It’s the circle of life.
“Each year in the UK there’s about 500,000 tons of wasted coffee grounds,” explains Arthur Kay, founder and CEO of bio-bean. “We essentially drive around London and collect wasted coffee grounds from a whole range of sites across the capital.”
Yep, it’s as simple as that. To date, bio-bean collects coffee grounds from over a thousand locations like coffee shops, restaurants, offices, train stations, and shopping centers. The result? Recycled coffee. If you live in the UK, where bio-bean is based, you might be drinking recycled coffee without even realizing it. Most of the biofuel pellets are sold back to the coffee shops where they were sourced from.
“Our factory processes about one in 10 cups of coffee produced in the UK,” Kay continued. “That’s about seven million cups a day.”
That’s a lot of coffee. Lorelai Gilmore would be proud!