A Cup of Beans

Solution

While working as a barista over 4 years ago, I realized that aside from paper cups, one the biggest waste produced by coffee was the coffee itself. Many bags of used coffee grinds were thrown away each day. so what if we combine the two by products of the coffee industry into one.  Doing more research I discovered that there is even more by-products from the coffee industry which can be used to create coffee cups, sleeves and paper bags for food items. Inspired by the Asian traditional rice paper, I started looking for ways to produce paper from coffee and coffee by-products such as coffee husk. The technology to produce such a paper is available.  Furthermore, after the paper is produced the already available technology  can be used to turn the coffee paper into cups, sleeves and paper bags. This can also benefit the farmers as Starbucks can help them sell even things they would throw away in the past. The coffee paper cups can also benefit customers as they will feel good about drinking from a cup which is made from coffee and coffee byproducts. The customers are not required to change their behavior, but they will be more aware of the problem and will be encouraged to use travel mugs or stay cups more often. Finally, the treeless coffee paper will save millions of trees from being cut down. 

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