You can now add one more innovative idea to Starbucks’ efforts towards being an environmentally responsible, sustainable company. In an attempt to both lessen its environmental impact and reduce food waste, Starbucks in Hong Kong is testing out a recycling process that will turn old baked goods and coffee grinds into laundry detergent and bio-plastic.
According to the NY Daily News, the project, led by scientists at the City University of Hong Kong, is being tested at a new food ‘biorefinery,’ that diverts food waste and transforms it into viable, usable products. Biorefineries transform corn, sugar cane, and other plant-based material into bio-based fuels and other products.
Recycled food waste is good for the planet in two essential ways. For one, it keeps tons of food garbage out of landfills and second, it reduces the need to manufacture goods from virgin, raw materials.
Starbucks Hong Kong produces about 5,000 tons of used coffee grounds and unconsumed baked goods that end up in the garbage bin every year. Currently, most of the waste is incinerated, composted or disposed of in landfills.
So how will old coffee grinds and stale banana bread be transformed into something more useful? Continue reading
Starbucks has set out to conquer some lofty green goals, and according to their latest sustainability report, they are well on their way. Included in those goals is to have most, if not all, future company-owned stores be LEED-certified and eco-friendly.
A recent Starbucks that went up in Tukwila, Washington may be its greenest store to date. Dubbed the Reclamation Drive-Thru, the store is built entirely out of upcycled shipping containers.
According to the Starbucks blog, Reclamation Drive-Thru was inspired by “A desire to help keep items used throughout our supply chain, like old shipping containers, out of the waste stream. The result: a 450 square foot drive-thru and walk-up store made from four end-of-life-cycle shipping containers. One small 20-foot container holds garbage, recycling and storage, but other than that, the whole store is contained within the shells of four containers that have been reclaimed, refurnished, renewed and revived.”
Starbucks wants you to enjoy a (fair trade) double espresso in the comforts of a LEED certified building that uses less electricity — and then to recycle your cup in a conveniently placed recycle bin. Or better yet, bring your own cup.
These are some of the goals Starbucks hopes to achieve with its annual Global Responsibility Report. Triple Pundit breaks down the green goals the coffee giant reached in 2011 and where they hope to be in the coming years.
- In 2011, customers used personal cups more than 34 million times, almost 2% of all beverages served in global company-owned stores. The goal is to serve 5% of its beverages made in its stores in personal cups by 2015.
- Since 2008, the company has held several Cup Summits to develop recyclable cups. By 2015 the goal is to serve 25% of all beverages in reusable cups.
- The company implemented front-of-store recycling to over 1,000 of its company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, totaling 18% of all its stores in North America. The goal is to have front-of-store recycling in all company-owned locations by 2015.
- A total 79% (over 2,400) of its company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada recycled cardboard boxes and other back-of-store items. Continue reading