The world ecosystem is evolving, trying to fit all elements better, reduce wastage and focus on the 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse and recycle. It is similar to a concept of a circular economy that has evolved over time where each industry tries to reduce waste consumption, reuse earlier discarded materials and then manufacture recycled output.
Now, guess which waste material is the newest addition to the list?
Well, it’s coffee. You read it right. Everytime you roast coffee, a whole lot of coffee chaff comes out as a by-product that then gets dumped in landfills. Infact, if you look at only MacDonald’s, it gives 62 million pounds of coffee skin as waste over a span of one year. This chaff then used to go to landfills to get incinerated, release carbon dioxide as a pollutant and now provide any return. However, things have now been turned around.
The coffee skin that has changed colours now –
Coffee chaffs are now used by Ford (renowned car maker) to produce headlights and car battery covers. Ford’s research team successfully understood the quality of coffee chaff to be easily molded and capable of withstanding high temperatures and put it to use via smart thinking.
Coffee chaffs are now sent directly to Competitive Green technologies where on behalf of Ford, the skins are combined with plastic as a ready raw material for manufacturing parts. Finally, a company named Varroc takes this material and yield headlights and battery cover as an output for Ford cars.
Coffee chaff solid waste goes down but this entire process also brings along other benefits. Coffee chaff products requires 25% lesser energy to be molded into parts as compared to other substitutes, especially talc which is used in combination with plastic. This also reduces the mining requirements of talc and an average Ford car becomes 20% lighter as well.
The amazing work that Ford does, especially by re-utilizing Coffee skins along with wheat, Demin by-products, and tomatoes to make car parts has gained the attention of Indian Car Industry Leader, Anand Mahindra.
Once again, Anand Mahindra winning hearts!
Mr. Anand Mahindra shared this entire story on twitter with the entire world while requesting Manoj Kumar, the founder of Naandi Foundation which works with ARAKU coffee in India to think about implementing a similar system and tie-up in India.
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) December 26, 2019