With more than 95 million cups of coffee being consumed on a daily basis in the UK in 2017, coffee consumption has reached a new peak, with no sign of it stopping any time soon. As so, significant economic advantages are created for businesses within the coffee industry, as more than £3.4 billion are being spent by British consumers on a yearly basis.
Nevertheless, one should consider the economic and environmental outcome that this trend has, due to the fact that its after-effect, as of now, is the annual creation of more than 500,000 tonnes of wasted coffee grounds. It is important to deal with the issue of coffee waste by analyzing the various ways the residue can be handled, both from an environmental as well as from an economic perspective.
In order to provide a complete approach to tackling this problem, various stages should be taken into consideration.
The first stage of doing so is by examining the various ways that the “pulp”, the outer skin of the coffee cherry, can be handled. As the pulp is not easily reproducible nor commonly used nowadays, it usually ends up in landfills and ultimately increases the overall waste disposal budget and environmental impact. Instead of doing so, there are two main approaches that could be followed:
The second stage towards battling the issue of coffee waste is by looking at the plethora of ways that used coffee grounds can be re-purposed, as they generate the largest amount of waste.
Lately, different approaches and methods have been in development throughout the world, with the most relevant examples being:
Those examples pave the way towards transforming the coffee industry into a more economically and environmentally friendly sector, and can further help inspire and convince organisations about the importance of dealing with coffee residue. It is necessary to handle a crucial topic like this as soon as possible, considering the continuously increasing demand of coffee consumption in a worldwide basis.
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