is good for more than just waking you up in the morning! There are
plenty of options to recycle your spent coffee grounds in and around the
house. You can use it in the garden to feed plants and to chase away
snails ants and cats. It removes scratches from furniture helps you
clean pots and pans fights bad odours (e.g. in the refrigerator) can be
used to make candles or to clean out the fireplace. For your body it can
be used as ingredient for soap scrub or facial creams or to make dark
But we don’t just drink coffee at home. We drink a
lot of it at our workplaces, for example in the office, or in a bar or a
coffeehouse. At these locations, large volumes of spent coffee grounds
are left over. And although recycling programmes can manage food waste
very well, they don’t always make optimal use of coffee waste.
the world enthusiastic pioneers, social and/or environmentally
concerned entrepreneurs and established commercial businesses try making
a living by producing valuable products from coffee waste. Today we
take a look at some of these initiatives which valorise spent coffee
grounds and turn them into consumables or durable products.
cups: When studying in Italy, product designer Julian Lechner wondered
what happens to all the coffee grounds after we have enjoyed our
Espresso, Cappuccino or Americano. Would there not be a way to re-use
this good and natural resource? And if so, what would it take to
preserve it for good? Following years of experimenting, Julian founded a
start-up, which uses spent coffee grounds and renewable raw materials
(glues) to manufacture innovative durable products such as espresso and
cappuccino cups. Not surprisingly, all these cups smell of coffee!
Moreover, they are very light, and are dishwasher safe.
and clothes: In Taiwan a company has patented a technology to produce
yarns from coffee waste. In the process, the characteristics of coffee
grounds are somewhat preserved and transferred to the textile that is
produced out of them. As a result, the fabrics made with this innovative
technology have natural anti-odour qualities; they dry faster than
cotton and give better UV-ray protection. Moreover, the textile feels
fresh and has the capacity to cool down the temperature of the skin.
wide range of products are made from this technology: shirts, bedding
and footwear. Nothing gets wasted: the 11% coffee oil extracted from
coffee grounds is used in cosmetics and in layered clothing.
the UK Adam Fairweather is the founder of a company that produces
designer office furniture made from spent coffee grounds and
post-consumer recycled plastic. The material produced with this process
is extremely robust, waterproof, scratch resistant and it doesn't
require sanding nor finishing because of its mat finish.
designers like Raúl Laurí Pla from Spain and Fermin Benedi Bayer from
Germany discovered the potential that spent coffee grounds offer to
produce table lamp, floor lamps and bowls. Raul’s series of lamps are
made with natural binder. They are 100% natural, biodegradable and
renewable and are still conserving coffee’s colour and they smell of
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