While Starbucks Coffee Company may be a huge corporation and you can find one on every corner (if you look close enough to the Rover images from Mars, I think there's one there, too), they really do put their money where there mouth is. They talk about sustainable practices and recycled materials. But what about the coffee grounds and day-old pastries? They've taken today's garbage one step further to tomorrow's usable product.
They break down the materials by a process that converts plant-based items into an acid. The acid can be used as detergent, medicine, or even plastics. Who knew today's cake pop and tall skim latté would have such an impact?
See an excerpt from Environmental News Network below.
Coffee Scraps at Starbucks Reused as Plastics and Consumer Products
From: David A Gabel, ENN
Published August 22, 2012 09:00 AM
According to the ACS, 1.3 billion tons of food is dumped in landfills, incinerated, or otherwise trashed every year around the world. They celebrate the success of Starbuck's new "biorefinery" at their 244th National Meeting and Exposition.
"Our new process addresses the food waste problem by turning Starbucks' trash into treasure — detergent ingredients and bio-plastics that can be incorporated into other useful products," said Carol S. K. Lin, Ph.D., who led the research team. "The strategy reduces the environmental burden of food waste, produces a potential income from this waste and is a sustainable solution."
The potential exists to expand this technology to not just coffee chains, but to all major food services, including school cafeterias. Between the new biorefinery and various composting technologies, not a single food scrap would ever have to be thrown away.
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of Starbucks Coffee Company.