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Queensland coffee lovers launch war on waste

  • Written by Barbara Cox


Queensland coffee lovers can now feel good about their takeaway caffeine habit with Merlo Coffee today launching a compostable cup crusade to stop more than three million cups going to landfill each year.

 

The Brisbane-based coffee company has teamed up with BioPak to be the first coffee business in the state to introduce eco-friendly takeaway cups and lids at its stores for composting with Merlo’s coffee grounds, food scraps and packaging.

 

Company founder Dean Merlo said ditching plastic-coated cups and moving to a composting system would:

  • cut Merlo’s carbon emissions by 25 per cent,
  • keep 9.4 tonnes of plastic out of landfill and
  • create 164 tonnes of compost each year.

 

“In our 15 Merlo cafes across Queensland, we go through millions of takeaway cups every year – if you lined them up, they’d stretch from Brisbane to Byron Bay and back again!” Mr Merlo said.

 

“Research shows three-quarters of Australians drink at least one cup of coffee daily[i] but an estimated one billion disposable cups end up in landfill each year, where they take up to 50 years to breakdown.”

 

Mr Merlo urged coffee lovers to join the compostable campaign.

 

“Now, thanks to companies like BioPak making eco-friendly materials, Merlo customers can keep their caffeine habit and do something good for the earth by dropping their cup in our collection bins,” he said.

 

“In just eight weeks, your coffee cup becomes healthy worm food.”

 

From today (Nov 26), customers at Merlo owned cafes will be served takeaway coffee in BioPak single wall cups made from plants, rather than crude oil.

 

The used cups will go into special composting bins in each Merlo store, along with food scraps, packaging and coffee grounds.

 

The waste will be transported to a facility at Swanbank near Ipswich, where recycling and revegetation innovator NuGrow turns it into organic compost.

 

BioPak CEO Gary Smith said Merlo customers could now be part of the solution to the national waste crisis.

 

"Along with a mountain of coffee cups, Australians dump more than eight-million tonnes of food and organic waste that could be composted,” Mr Smith said.

 

“Decomposing food releases methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, causing enormous damage to our environment.

 

“We are thrilled that Merlo is leading the way in Queensland by composting its cups and organic waste - I’m sure its coffee-loving customers will seize the chance to be part of this change.”

 

Merlo also aims to roll out compostable cups to 1600+ cafes it supplies with Merlo coffee beans.

 

You Can Make a Difference

  1. Bring your own reusable cup.
  2. Only buy takeaway coffee at cafes that offer compostable cups.
  3. If you don’t need a lid, say so.

 

Merlo Going Green

  • Merlo is one of Australia’s biggest independently-owned coffee companies.
  • Our food packaging, cups, lids, straws and serviettes are all fully compostable.
  • The husks from our roasters are compacted into pellets to be used in the garden, as a fire starter or in worm farms.
  • Our Alto blend, Brazilian single origin + Decaf come from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.
  • We discount takeaway coffee if you bring a reusable cup.
  • We discount coffee tin refills if you reuse your tin.
  • We give away coffee grounds for your home garden or compost; just bring in a container.

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