Local coffee house Papillion, based on Castle Road, has become the first independent coffee shop in Bedford to adopt a new way of recycling used coffee grounds and takeaway cups, working with local waste management company, Cawleys.
The UK uses seven million disposable coffee cups every day or 2.5 billion every year and Bedford generates its fair share of this waste. According to government statistics, Bedford town has 185 cafés, coffee shops and other outlets selling takeaway coffee and hot drinks. Based on figures from Cawleys which pioneered the new coffee recycling service, the town produces over 370,000 kilos of ground coffee waste every year and uses 18,500 takeaway cups every week, or over 192,000 every year.
Lisa, Papillon owner, said: “The main reason being environmentally friendly is important to me is because of my children. I think it’s vital to be conscious of our actions and what impact we have on the earth. I also think that it’s a positive message to send to my children, it will hopefully encourage them to do the same. Our customers are loving it too!”
Cawleys, which is one of the Bedfordshire’s largest employers, is well known for its pioneering waste management solutions, and was the first company in the UK to provide a commercial waste collection service sending food waste to anaerobic digestion, working with Waitrose. Coffee recycling is the latest innovation to come from this dynamic family business.
Anna Cawleys Director of Customer Service at Cawleys said: “We’re delighted to see independent shops like Papillon taking the lead in coffee recycling. It’s an easy to use system which quite literally does not cost the earth. Recycling coffee grounds and coffee cups helps reduce greenhouse gases, diverts waste away from landfill and ultimately, gives your latte a useful second life.”
Cawleys Waste Management is working with bio-bean, an award-winning clean technology company, to help businesses turn their waste coffee into advanced new products such as coffee logs and bio-mass pellets. Each coffee log is made from the grounds of 25 cups of coffee and contains twenty per cent more energy than wood. As a result, coffee logs burn hotter and longer than traditional wood, reducing waste and providing a completely carbon neutral heat for the home.
Cawleys provides special caddies to store the coffee grounds separately from other waste streams in the coffee house, and then collects them as part of its recycling rounds, making an efficient use of transport, which is an important consideration for any organisation wishing to reduce its environmental impact. At the same time, it collects stored cups for recycling too.
Baled disposable coffee cups are also transported by Cawleys for recycling to a specialist recycler. The cups go through a pulping process which delaminates the materials and breaks down the fibres in the cups, ready for reprocessing into other forms of packaging such as carton tubes used for gravy granules or hot chocolate.
Anna Cawley said:
“The reason so few cups are currently being recycled is because people don’t have access to an appropriate waste collection service or are confused by stories in the media that their cups can’t be recycled, so they don’t bother trying. Lisa and her team at Papillon in Bedford are showing the world that it can be done. I’m very proud that we’re pioneering this together for Bedfordshire”