Ah coffee. It's the fuel that many of us need to start our day, or at least keep the headaches away. With such an international demand for coffee, there's bound to be an endless pile of discarded cups, tops, straws, stirrers, sugar packets, and other detritus crowding our environment. The vast majority of all this material ends up in the trash, where even coffee cups take 20 years to decompose. Well, a start-up company in Berlin called Kaffeeform is making sustainable, biodegradable, reusable coffee cups that are in use at coffee shops all around the city.
The material they make their cups with is recycled and treated coffee grounds, which a team of Kaffeeform cyclists collect from the cafés in the area every day.
From an Insider interview with the founders.
The collected grounds are then sorted and then cleaned at Kaffeeform's workshop. Then, they're transported to another facility where they're dried and blended with plant fibers, beechwood grains, and natural resins.
Once the new coffee-ground granulate has been mixed together, it gets shaped under heat and pressure. It takes about 6 cups of grounds to produce one espresso cup and saucer, resulting in a final product that's 40% coffee grounds and 100% biodegradable.
It's a fascinating use of a commonly disposable good and a great way to help change habits of a population. With over 150 vendors in Europe using Kaffeeform products, we're hoping to see a big increase in the future.