The partnership with the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (ACEF) will see the construction of recycling plant that will turn spent coffee grounds into oil for personal care products and biobased fuel material
Caffe Inc. co-founders Evaluna Marquez and Josephine Nijstad | Photo credit: Cees Hin
Coffee shops in Amsterdam will soon be able to recycle spent coffee grounds at a new €4m plant in the city.
Caffe Inc. BV and the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (ACEF) have teamed up to build a €4m ($4.5m) coffee recycling plant on the Dutch capital. Once operational, the facility will process waste coffee into coffee oil for use in personal care products, such as soap and shampoo, as well as material for biofuel.
According to Caffe Inc., just 1% of coffee bean mass is used in the brewing process, with the remaining 99% ending up as waste. Each year, the Netherlands produces 250,000 tons of coffee waste, which results in 8.5 million kg of CO2 emissions. The company says that 400 kg of CO2 is saved with every ton of coffee waste its processes, with the new facility having the capacity to soak up annual CO2 emissions equivalent to 75,000 trees.
“We want to act on a sustainable future and not only talk about it. Coffee is something everyone can relate to. By making the circular case for coffee waste we want to inspire others to start working towards a circular economy,” said Josephine Nijstad, founding CEO Caffe Inc.
The Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (ACEF), funds projects that make significant environmental impact and contribute to CO2
reductions within the city. The fund has so far financed 29 projects worth around €67m since its inception.
Caffe Inc. is not the only company in Europe recycling spent coffee grounds. In October 2021, Denmark-based Kaffe Bueno
received €2.5m funding from the European Innovation Council to build Europe’s first dedicated coffee bio-refinery.
Fellow Danish firm Kaffee Form is also upcycling spent coffee grounds to manufacture a range of coffee cups. In the UK, HuskeeCup uses coffee husk as a material in its reusable coffee cups.
In the US, car manufacturing giant Ford has used waste coffee chaff generated by fast food chain McDonald’s for use in the manufacture of headlights.