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Planet Ark to trial Coffee Grounds Recycling in Sydney CBD

Date: 13-Nov-17
Author: Nell MacDonald

Coffee Grounds trial to begin in Sydney © Nell McDonald

We are excited to announce we are trialling a new program in the beginning of 2018 - Coffee 4 Planet Ark, where we will be collecting leftover coffee grounds from Sydney CBD cafes and recycling them into compost.

Every year Australians consume 6 billion cups of coffee and our recent feasibility study, made possible thanks to the City of Sydney, found that 93% of coffee grounds are sent to landfill. Only 7% of cafes surveyed use an organic waste processor or repurpose their leftover grounds.

Coffee cups, pods and capsules have recently got a lot of negative media attention, whilst spent coffee grounds as a problematic waste stream has stayed under the radar.

The fact is, coffee is a highly valuable material full of nutrients. The leftovers from your flat white or latte can, and should be reused, instead of being sent to landfill and treated as waste.

Coffee is full of nutrients and an amazing resource with many different uses being explored across the world, from odour busting clothing, to biodiesel to bedsheets. It is our goal to roll out a national program and begin exploring repurposing the grounds into some of these exciting products.

Another reason that the repurposing coffee grounds is so important is that when sent to landfill they decompose anaerobically (without the presence of oxygen), producing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas with over 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide.

This trial is being made possible thanks to the support from our foundation members Allpress Espresso, Campos, Genovese, Grinders, Lavazza and Vittoria. Thanks to their wonderful support we will be able to determine the best and most cost effective way to repurpose coffee grounds and develop a national rollout model to help keep the coffee grounds out of landfill.

Coffee 4 Planet Ark is an example of extended producer responsibility where businesses take responsibility for the end of life of their products.

We are thrilled to be partnering with our foundation members. They are leading the way in sustainability and innovation in the coffee industry.


Nell                                              MacDonald
Author: Nell MacDonald

Nell is Special Projects Manager at Planet Ark.