Planet Ark partners with roasters to trial coffee diversion program

A new Planet Ark trial aims to divert spent coffee grounds from landfill and repurpose them into higher value uses.

Planet Ark will begin the Coffee 4 Planet Ark two-month trial in September in Sydney in collaboration with leading coffee roasters and founding members Allpress Espresso, Genovese Coffee, Grinders Coffee and Lavazza. Tata Global Beverages via its Map Coffee brand will collect spent coffee grounds from limited corporate businesses in Melbourne.

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The national program will roll out across the country in 2019 after it identifies the best and most cost-effective collection method with logistics partner Bingo Industries.

Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko says the Coffee 4 Planet Ark program is an important step in ensuring spent coffee grounds were being used to their greatest potential rather than entering landfill.

“Currently, the vast majority of coffee grounds produced after extracting your coffee are going to landfill. Planet Ark believes in creating a circular economy where all resources are used to their greatest potential,” Paul says.

“We are thrilled to be working with some of Australia’s leading coffee roasters to trial a collection and repurposing system for coffee ground waste.”

In 2016, Planet Ark undertook a feasibility study that found almost 2800 tonnes of spent coffee grounds are sent to landfill in Sydney alone.

Once in landfill, spent grounds break down without the presence of oxygen and produce methane. Diverting the spent grounds from Sydney would save approximately 1600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually, according to the study.

To develop new end uses for coffee grounds, Planet Ark has begun working with the SMaRT centre at the University of New South Wales. It has also secured a partnership with Circular Food to produce a nutrient rich soil fertiliser called Big Bio, which will utilise the collected grounds.

Cafés who are customers of Grinders Coffee, Allpress Espresso, Genovese Coffee, or Lavazza and are located in the following NSW postcodes are welcome to participate in the trial: 2000, 2008, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2043.

Cafés of other coffee roasters can contact their roaster and let them know they are interested in being involved once the program begins to roll out when the trial ends at the end of 2018.

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