Starbucks to turn used coffee grounds into bioplastics

One of the world’s leading coffee chain, Starbucks, which already has a goal to offer front-of-store recycling in all its company-owned cafes by 2015, has come up with another innovative way to reduce its carbon footprint. The company is now trying to turn all its used coffee grounds, along with other bakery food waste, into everyday products such as laundry detergents and bioplastics.

Food waste is a global problem, managing which most restaurants around the world have a hard time. Estimates suggest that about 1.3 billion tons of food worldwide is wasted annually, which could easily be turned into something useful. Starbucks’ initiative works by blending the waste coffee grounds and baked goods with a mixture of fungi to break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Once the sugars are produced, the blend finds its way to a fermenter, where bacteria converts sugars into succinic acid. The technology is quite environmentally friendly as fewer pollutants are emitted and waste is managed while producing something useful.

Via: The Examiner

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