The way we consume coffee is shifting. As consumers we’re becoming more and more environmentally friendly; the waste produced from takeaway cups is shrinking thanks to KeepCup and similar ventures.
But when it comes to the waste produced from the production of our beloved coffees, we fall wildly short. According to a 2016 study undertaken by Planet Ark, 77% of cafes expressed interest in programs centred around the recovery of their used coffee waste. Yet there is no infrastructure or program currently in place.
As we discussed last week, 75% of us have a cup of coffee every day, leading to over 225,000 tonnes of waste ending up in various landfill sites each year. This produces roughly 1.575 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
But what does this number mean for our planet? When you think of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, for a lot of us the first thing that comes to mind is our cars. They’re great for getting us from point A to point B, but they’re not too friendly on the environment. According to a government study, cars and transport make up about 19% of Australia’s CO2 emissions, which is a huge chunk of our overall emission numbers. And whilst the push towards electric cars is slowly gaining momentum, we’ve got a long way to go.
But did you know that the 225,000 tonnes of coffee waste that goes to landfill each year produces the CO2 equivalent of 575,000 cars?
This is because coffee waste produces predominantly methane, which according to a Princeton study is roughly 30x more potent as a heat-trapping gas than carbon.
So whilst coffee waste isn't the first thing you think of, its a big factor in warming up our planet.
Coffee waste is a huge issue, so we've decided to take a stand.
Warm your home, not the planet, buy our briquettes now.
Going deeper- calculations & figures:
225,000 tonnes of waste x 7 CO2 equivalent (0.2 tonnes of methane x 25)= 1.575 million per year.
The average car in Australia produces 2.73 tonne of CO2 per year (15,000km x 182g per km)
1.575 Million/ 2.73 = 575,000 Cars.