SEOUL, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government is teaming up with major coffeehouse chains in South Korea for a new recycling project that will see a weekly dose of coffee grounds reused as fertilizer and disposable cups collected for recycling, as part of a new environmental initiative set to kick off next month.
The collective effort will see coffee grounds and disposable cups produced at 62 different locations of coffeehouse chains including Ediya, Caffè Pascucci, Tom N Toms, and Caffe Bene collected on a regular basis during a trial run, the Seoul government announced yesterday.
After participating coffee shops recoup coffee grounds and disposable cups, a recycling company will visit to collect them for free at least once a week, and the collected coffee grounds then will be reused as a fertilizer or nutrients to grow mushrooms.
Some experts encourage the use of coffee waste as a fertilizer since used coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are main nutrient components in high-quality fertilizer.
In preparation for the launch of the project, the Seoul government is seeking measures that could allow officials to monitor progress and use coffee grounds for urban farming and managing public facilities such as parks.
Seoul’s latest recycling project follows in the footsteps of a previous effort last year in Jongno District, where the local government paved a path for recycling coffee grounds with the help of local coffeehouse chain branches.
Provided that more than 1,000 stores get on board, the Seoul government projects its new environmental initiative with six major coffeehouse chains could result in 1,200 tons of coffee grounds being recycled, and the recovery of an additional 30 percent of disposable cups that are harmful to the environment if left unattended.
Last month, the Ministry of Environment collaborated with Starbucks Korea and the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network in a similar fashion to hold an event encouraging the recycling of resources including coffee grounds in celebration of Arbor Day.