What’s Going On Here?
It’s #UKCoffeeWeek! Many of us love a cup of joe in the morning, but what if our morning coffee could help save the rainforest? Two Scottish entrepreneurs may have found a way that it can…
What Does My Coffee Have To Do With The Rainforest?
Revive Eco, created to ‘bring new life to coffee waste’, have come up with a new way to extract oil from used coffee grounds. They have found that the oil extracted from coffee grounds could be used in cosmetics pharmaceuticals, food and drink, household products as a replacement for palm oil.
This is potentially huge. Palm oil is in the news a lot – and not for anything good! It’s hidden in the ingredients of many household items and foods (doritos, nutella, lipstick to name a few…). The issue with palm oil, as nicely demonstrated by Iceland’s banned Christmas TV ad, is that extracting it is devastating rainforests, and destroying the habitat of endangered species such as the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.
IF this solution works, and brands get on board, this ‘coffee oil’ could help to ease the strain on the rainforest. With the UK alone producing 500,000 tonnes of coffee waste each year, there’ll be plenty of ‘coffee oil’ to go around.
So How Long Until There’s Coffee In My Nutella?
For Revive Eco, the focus is now to secure funding and get the process set up. They’re aiming to have a set up in Glasgow by summer 2020 – and hope that long term they can then roll out processing plants across Europe.
Zero Waste Scotland has given them £235,000, and on 9th May they’ll find out if they’ve secured a share of a £776,000 funding pot from the Chivas Venture Competition.
Want to help with the palm oil now?
You might be tempted to avoid products with palm oil in, but boycotting palm oil might not be the answer. WWF Malaysia points out that it’s not palm oil that’s the issue but the way it is currently obtained, and believe that boycotting it entirely could worsen the problem. We should instead be celebrating and supporting brands that are using palm oil sustainably. The WWF has a live Palm Oil Scorecard in which they rank 137 brands – an easy way for us to see who’s doing great, and who’s doing nothing at all…