How is bio-bean part of a circular economy? - bio-bean


16th November 2020

How is bio-bean part of a circular economy?

Our current model of global consumerism is a linear model of take-make-waste – one that is leading to growing landfills and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. To ensure we and our planet can continue to survive and thrive in the long term, this linear consumption methodology and our over reliance on virgin resources must change. We must move towards a circular economy.

What is a circular economy?

In its simplest form, a circular economy consists of reducing our extraction of resources from the planet and instead reusing, repurposing, or remanufacturing the resources already taken, putting them back into the economic chain. This can be as simple as servicing and re-furbishing the appliances in our homes rather than disposing of them to buy new, or, on a greater scale, rethinking ‘waste’ and making use of any remaining residual value within a ‘waste’ material.

How does bio-bean contribute to a circular economy?

As the world’s largest recycler of spent coffee grounds, we ensure that the residual value in spent grounds feeds back into the economy. From our coffee recycling service to providing a raw material for use in bioplastics, we work with a variety of businesses across industries to transform spent coffee grounds into products which offer a more sustainable solution to their counterparts.

When disposed to landfill, spent coffee grounds give off harmful greenhouse gas emissions. So we work to divert spent grounds from such inefficient disposal methods and instead recycle them, extracting the maximum value possible from the grounds and leaving no potential disposed of and wasted. By doing this we reduce waste, save up to 80% on CO2e emissions, and contribute to the circular economy.

Ultimately, at bio-bean, we’re actively demonstrating that a material, formerly considered ‘waste’, need not be disposed of, but rather, still holds value. By transforming this ‘waste’ into sustainable products, we’re giving coffee grounds a second life, creating change that’s built to last.

Moving forward with a circular economy

More businesses are backing a green economic recovery from the current global pandemic. Increasingly we’re seeing start-ups appearing on the market who are transforming ‘waste’ into other products, from wonky vegetables to orange peel, and even discarded fish scales. And we’re seeing more and more large, billion-pound global businesses investing in sustainability and the circular economy.

Watching this shift brings hope for the large-scale behavioural change we need to protect the planet from further loss. However, businesses can only do so much in the face of current rigid legislation.

Circular innovations often float in the legislative ether with nowhere to go. We’ve experienced this first-hand. So, we want to see the UK Government facilitating the circular movement and creating more flexible legislation to quickly scale and create lasting impact through sustainable innovations.

Until then, we will continue to contribute towards the circular economy and bring about behaviour change in the way we all see and deal with “waste”.

Read more about the products we’ve created from spent coffee grounds in our explanatory series for bio-bean Elements, Naturals and Renewals.