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Coffee Waste Could be the Answer to the Perils of Palm Oil

by | May 6, 2019

In a groundbreaking new initiative by two entrepreneurs, the next big step towards sustainability could be by replacing the use of palm oil and so its devastating effects on the wildlife. Ask how? Well, it has to do with a by-product of something that you’re probably drinking while reading this- coffee. Know more here.

Palm Oil
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New Initiative Could Pave Way for Utilizing Coffee Waste to Counter Palm Oil Overutilization

Fergus Moore and Scott Kennedy, speaking to the BBC mentioned they’ve come up with a unique solution to counter the perils of palm oils and that is harnessing ground coffee waste. According to them, the oils derived from ground coffee waste can have diverse usage as palm oil. As reported by the BBC, the two men landed on the idea while they were working at a coffee shop during their study at Strathclyde University, Glasgow. That was when they had the first-hand encounter of the amount of food waste produced by the hospitality sector, and comes the revolutionary idea.

Speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr. Moore elaborated on the potential coffee ground hold as a prospective palm oil replacement. In the oils present in coffee grounds lie the supposed way-out from the bane of palm oils explains Mr. Moore, adding that the same oil can have diverse usage just like palm oil does. He mentioned they’re developing technology to extract the valuable oils from ground coffee waste.

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Giving a sneak peek into the volume of coffee waste produced, Mr. Moore told BBC that as much as 60% of the waste produced by a cafe is coffee ground, specifying that Scotland produces a staggering 40,000 tonnes and more than half a million tonne across the United Kingdom. But what he mentioned next is so satisfying- the ground coffee waste has oils that have the same components as palm oil. He told-

“Palm oil’s in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s really exciting for us that we could potentially provide a local and more sustainable alternative to all the industries that are currently using palm oil.

“We’re developing a process to extract and purify these oils.”

Fergus Moore via BBC

Explaining further about the manifesting plans for their idea, Mr. Moore added that both of them not being from engineering background makes it difficult to set up the company Revive Eco, but thanks to their ‘incredible advisors and mentors that have made the process easier.” Their company has reportedly secured some £235,000 of funding from a source and now they’re in a competition to secure funds from Chivas Venture competition, representing Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Aiming to start their venture by next summer in Glasgow, the two entrepreneurs seek to replicate the business model in a separate country in the future.

When Perils Power Predicaments

Credits: Oleg Senkov/ Shutterstock

One of the cheapest oils available, and one of the most exponentially used in a multitude of industries, palm oil severely fails to strike a balance between sustainability and the versatility it gives mankind. Not only the oil’s health benefits are controversial, the same reportedly wreaks havoc on the environment and wildlife, leading to deforestation, loss of animal habitats (orangutans among others) and habitat degenerations among others. The same is also produced at an alarming rate of 66 million tonnes a year across the globe.

So if the perils of palm oil are so devastating, there is a definite need for a replacement. And it looks like the light at the end of the tunnel is teasing- two Scottish entrepreneurs have come up with a replacement to palm oil, and that is something you have been probably drinking while reading this article. Not exactly coffee but the grounds. Whatsoever, what do you think about the idea? Share with your friends and family and let me know your thoughts in comments.


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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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