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This startup turns leftover coffee into clean fuel

A person holding a cup of coffee with a renewable energy leaf on it.

Here in the UK, we’re not strangers to waste. In fact, according to the WWF, us Brits are the second biggest users per person of single-use products. But, we’re changing our ways…

Good news! We’re set to use a third less coffee cups by 2030. Many of us may have already made the switch to a cool, reusable coffee cup and even wonder how we ever survived without one. But before you go sipping your morning latte totally guilt-free, coffee consumption isn’t out of the environmental line of fire just yet. 

Roughly half a million tonnes of waste coffee grounds are produced by the UK alone every year, and as a consequence they emit huge amounts of methane in landfills. Not good. 

No need to ditch the flat whites in despair though, because one tech start-up has found the solution. Bio-Bean is making huge waves when it comes to minimising coffee waste, starting by founding the world’s first ever coffee ground recycling centre in Cambridgeshire.

So how does it work? Bio-Bean collects grounds from coffee shops nationwide, from the biggest coffee giants to the smallest independent stalls, before they’re taken to HQ and get broken down into biofuel, becoming renewable energy sources. 

They’ve even targeted train stations, where huge amounts of coffee is consumed, to ensure that the cheeky triple shot latte you down on your way into work is disposed of in the most sustainable way possible. 

Even the process of collecting the grounds themselves is kept carbon-neutral. Collaborating with waste management companies, they try to keep as few trucks on the road as possible

Could you imagine London’s buses running entirely on recycled coffee grounds? Bio-Bean founder Arthur Kay can. They may have started small, but Bio-Bean’s plans involve part of the UK’s energy running entirely on coffee biofuel. Ambition is key, folks.

So, good news for caffeine addicts! The coffee you drink might just help power Britain one day…