Ecobean has performed detailed research on potential end use for coffee waste, which contains valuable chemical compounds. That included different methods of processing and creating diverse goods with useful properties coming from recycled Spent Coffee Grounds (SCGs). In contrast with other organic waste, such as typical food waste, it is possible to separate SCGs at source quite easily and convert it into new products.
Based on that we have developed a unique technology enabling us to give the coffee waste a second life. We provide following solutions:
- Converting coffee waste into coffee briquettes – two types of logs for using in the grill in summer season and in fireplaces in winter season.
- Use dry SCG as a filler to produce green polymer composites for a wide range of application in HoReCa: dishes, furniture, interior design and many more.
Furthermore, the following projects are in development:
- Converting coffee waste into the coffee polymer – biopolymers as a material for producing disposal utensils for the hotel, restaurant and café (HORECA) industry. Due to EU regulations, all of disposable plastics will be banned till 2021, so a new solution for caps, straws, plates, food packaging is extremely needed.
- Extracting from SCGs coffee oils and transforming them into valuable fragrances and flavourings.
- 2.25 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day globally. 1/3 of this amount is consumed in Europe. Only in Poland the amount of Spent Coffee Grounds (SCGs) is estimated at 120,000 tons per year. That generates a big waste problem. Millions of tons of spent coffee grounds (SCGs) end up in landfills every day. This waste is responsible for constantly growing landfill size and high methane and carbon dioxide emissions polluting the environment. Every ton of coffee biomass generates over 600 kg of CO2.
- EcoBean works hard to solve a huge problem which applies to each of you. Finally we deliver ready solutions that can be implemented to your business and save up to 80% of CO2 emissions by processing SCGs coming from your daily operation.
- Recognition, awareness and licensing process for by-products. There are unsuitable criteria for recognition coffee waste as by-product. Today the criteria are designed to suit by-products coming from pure production processes such as wood processing, furniture manufacturing, etc. Our application for accepting spent coffee grounds as a by-product was rejected by Polish environmental institutions on the basis of argument, that brewing coffee is not a production process.
- No legal regulation and incentives for promotion of reverse logistics for coffee waste, which does exist for e.g. EU-electronic waste management infrastructure (WEEE).
- Lack of certification and norms:
- EU Ecolabel certification for specific products – there is no category for briquette.
- The EN14961 Norm is applicable for traditional (wood) briquette only – EN14961-3 – there is no possibility to obtain the norm for coffee briquette.
- Coffee grounds briquetting as an easy-to-understand example of circular economy helpful in awareness raising among individuals – making it more appealing and reachable. We believe that converting coffee grounds into briquette is one of the most simple and easy examples of circular economy, in which the loop could be really closed with nothing left behind. So the challenge is to reach decision makers and basing on our case convince them that certain amenities should be introduced immediately.
- Business area: We cooperate with leading brands of the HORECA industry (coffee chains, restaurants, hotels), fuel industry (petrol stations), real estate sector.
- NGOs area: Innowo Circular Economy Foundation.
- KIC InnoEnergy is our investor.