Is your morning coffee the solution to the palm oil problem?
What if your pot of coffee could help solve the palm oil problem?
Two entrepreneurs from Scotland, Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore, say it’s not too good to be true. They’re on a mission to swap palm oil with oil from old coffee grounds (yes, those leftovers from your morning cup of joe may be put to some serious good use).
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Trash to treasure
While working in coffee shops in college, Kennedy and Moore saw firsthand how much waste cafes produce primarily with coffee grounds. But instead of trashing without a thought, they realized the oil from the coffee grounds had the same properties as palm oil, which means it potentially could be used as a palm oil alternative.
This would be a huge deal because palm oil is found in everything from soap to bread, to vegetable oils, to face moisturizers. And it’s the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Even though palm oil is an efficient source of vegetable oil, it’s also connected to climate change, rainforest destruction, endangered species deaths, and human conflict. Needless to say, a sustainable alternative would be a huge win for the Earth.
Moore told BBC in an interview, “Palm oil’s in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s really exciting for us that we could potentially provide a local and more sustainable alternative to all the industries that are currently using palm oil.” We couldn’t agree more!
Here’s how it works
They follow a three-step process:
- Collect used coffee grounds from restaurants, cafes, etc.
- Process the grounds at a facility in Scotland
- Create products using the used coffee grounds
According to the BBC, their goal is to first develop a purification process in Glasgow that will later serve as a model for other big coffee-drinking cities around the world. Buckle up, Amsterdam and London!
If you want to learn more about the Scottish duo’s plans, check out their startup, Revive Eco.
Read more blog posts about coffee here:
- 6 Eco-friendly reasons this is going to be your new favorite mug
- How to be an ethical coffee drinker
- Coffee could be extinct. The scary reason and how to help now.
And learn more about palm oil in these posts:
- Palm oil is destroying the planet – what you need to know to help
- 5 amazing orangutan facts that will convince you to give up palm oil
- Is palm oil vegan?