Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. According to the international coffee organization (I.C.O), demand for the beverage is expected to increase by 25% translating to 40kg to 560kg of waste per person per year. Each stakeholder in the coffee value chain : coffee shop owners and customers have to take responsibility in managing coffee waste by “doing their bit”.
We’ve outlined a few recommendations to reduce environmental impact in the coffee value chain.
- Consider sit-in rather than take away coffee option
Over 20 million trees are cut down each year to produce paper cups which will be later disposed. Sitting in reduces paper wastage by 50%. If need for take away coffee arises, consider bringing your own mug.
- Purchase coffee in bulk
It is environmentally friendly to purchase a 1 kg bag of coffee rather than four (4) 250g.
- 1kg =300 square cm of aluminium foil bags.
- (4)*250g = 480 square cm of aluminium) bags.
This reduces wastage of the packaging material . It is recommended to bring along an air tight coffee container or tins.
- Re-use ground coffee waste.
The word reuse in this aspect does not refer to brewing another batch with the used coffee, it refers to finding alternative uses for the coffee waste e.g. as compost, pest repellent,homemade coffee candles, exfoliating skin etc.
- Whipping cream fun? Use recyclable carton boxes.
Carton recycling access has grown a remarkable 177% over the last five years. Since cartons are made mostly of paper, they are a renewable resource and can be reused forever and re-manufactured into a new product.
- Purchase sustainable sourced coffee beans.
Coffee cultivation can contribute to 1% or as much as 70% of the total environmental footprint depending on the practices involved. It is important to know how your coffee is grown, processed and other steps involved in the seed to cup process.