AirXCoffee reveals world first Coffee Bio-Composite to replace single-use plastic


Building from its initial coffee face mask success, sustainable manufacturer AirXCoffee has revealed plans for its new Bio-Composite line, made from coffee grounds and other recycled and natural materials.

Made from coffee bio, a composite that comes from coffee grounds, Vietnam-based AirXCoffee has successfully sourced and converted used coffee grounds to make environmentally friendly replacements of single-use plastics.

“The new material is more competitive than the traditional plastic. Ten per cent cheaper in price than oil-based plastic, coffee bio-composite is expected to help the Vietnamese plastic industry to have better competitiveness in the global market. It also helps Vietnam to reduce reliance on fossil-based materials,” says Thanh Le, Founder of AirXCoffee.

Products from tableware to polystyrene cups to flowerpots can be made with this new product, with the Coffee Bio-Composite receiving a three-star OK Bio-based certification from Tuv Austria.

This means products in the Bio-Composite line are made up of at least 60 to 80 per cent bio-based content and are marked as food safe by Tuv Rheinland.

To create this material, coffee grounds from local shops in Vietnam are collected, dried, and mixed with recycled materials, starch, cellulose, wood, natural resins, waxes, and oils.

From this, the coffee composite is created. It is bio-based, recyclable, light, and has the appearance of dark wood while giving coffee aromas.

“Coffee ground is popular in Vietnam. Being the world’s second-biggest coffee exporter, Vietnam is the best place for us to produce this world’s first coffee bio-composite,” says Le.

“When we decided to design a new material back in 2020, we knew early that we wanted a solution that uses local materials, is easy to produce and inexpensive, with the added bonus of being biodegradable.”

The material is currently being created in a university lab but is expected to shift towards cost-effective scaling and production by June 2021.

“The revolution is not only expected to help limiting the single-use plastic, but also preventing coffee grounds from going to landfills and releasing methane gas, which has a greenhouse effect 28 times higher than carbon dioxide,” says Professor Phu Huynh, Dean of the Faculty of Material at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.

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