It is estimated that in 2018, the World drank 9.7bn kgs of coffee, equivalent to 23’761 Boeing 747’s full with passengers. 33% of that coffee was consumed in Europe with the Dutch estimated to consume 127million kgs of coffee in the same period. It is clear that we just love coffee, but it takes huge amounts of energy to get it in to our hands and to also dispose of. With few applications for coffee once it has been used, we quickly lose the value of it- using it once and then sending it off to be landfilled or incinerated, contributing negatively to carbon emissions.
The story is worse for disposable cups. In Europe, it is estimated that the two largest countries (by population) - Germany and the UK, use approximately 5.3bn disposable cups a year combined. That’s 168 disposable cups per second! Because of a thin layer of polyethylene plastic to make them water proof on the inside, these cups are very difficult to separate and recycle, posing huge problems for coffee sellers, waste management firms and the environment.
…and this got us thinking. Can we develop a solution to help solve both of these problems?