Coffee Culture

What Can Be Made From Coffee Waste

Coffee Waste to green plants

Coffee waste is a common byproduct of coffee consumption, with over 2 billion cups of coffee being consumed globally each day. While many people may not think twice about disposing of their used coffee grounds, it’s important to consider the impact that this waste has on the environment. However, there are a number of innovative solutions that have emerged in recent years, offering new ways to repurpose coffee waste and reduce its negative impact.

Why Do We Need to Recycle Coffee Waste?

Six million tons of coffee grounds are sent to landfill every year. This practice of discarding coffee waste is detrimental to the environment, as the decomposition of coffee grounds releases methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas. In fact, methane has a global warming potential that is up to 86 times greater than CO2. Moreover, the disposal of such a valuable resource is a missed opportunity, as spent coffee grounds can be recycled and repurposed in various ways, such as in the production of biofuels, fertilizers, and even sustainable fashion products.People all around the world are turning coffee waste into cool stuff you can actually use.
Although recycling programmes in many countries help to manage food waste well, they don’t always make optimal use of coffee waste. We’re talking pioneers, entrepreneurs, and even big businesses who care about the environment and making a difference. They’re using spent coffee grounds to make consumable treats and durable products that are worth way more than just a cup of joe.

Most Common Ways to Utilise Coffee Waste

With around 18% oil content, they can be used for a range of commercial applications, from biofuels to cosmetics. In addition, coffee grounds can be utilized in a number of home remedies, such as fertilizing plants or cleaning out fireplaces. Recognizing this potential, entrepreneurs around the world are exploring innovative ways to create value from coffee waste, turning it into everything from jewelry to furniture to clothing. By repurposing coffee waste in this way, we can reduce our environmental impact and create new economic opportunities.
So, what are some of these initiatives? Well, we did some digging and found some seriously awesome stuff. From coffee-based skincare products to eco-friendly furniture and even edible snacks, there are so many creative ways to turn coffee waste into something valuable. So grab a latte and get ready to be inspired by the amazing things people are doing with coffee waste!

Candles from Coffee Waste

Coffee waste candles are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional candles, as they not only offer a unique and pleasant aroma, but also make use of a material that would otherwise be discarded. The process of making coffee waste candles involves melting down wax and adding in used coffee grounds, which gives the candle a subtle coffee scent when lit. Not only do these candles offer a more sustainable and eco-friendly option for home fragrance, they can also serve as a conversation starter, as guests are often intrigued by the idea of using coffee waste in this way.

If you’re interested in purchasing coffee waste candles, there are several options available online from retailers such as Etsy, where independent sellers offer a variety of scents and styles. Many of these sellers use natural, non-toxic materials in their candles, so you can feel good about supporting small businesses and reducing your environmental impact at the same time. Alternatively, for those who enjoy DIY projects, making your own coffee waste candles is a fun and simple activity that can be done at home with just a few basic supplies. There are plenty of tutorials and guides available online to help get you started.

Video: Reused Coffee Grounds Candle Making

Skin-Care Products

Coffee waste can be used for more than just drinking. People have long discovered the amazing cleansing properties of coffee grounds for the skin. You can always use coffee grounds as a natural scrub to remove grease and dirt from your hands after dirty work. Just rub the coffee grounds into your hands with water and soap, and your hands will be spotlessly clean in no time.

But the benefits of coffee grounds on your skin don’t stop there. Many companies are now making skincare products from waste coffee, including serums, washes, and scrubs. Upcircle is one such company, using coffee grounds that would otherwise be discarded to create a range of incredible skincare products. These products not only leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed, but they also help to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Coffee scrubs are an excellent natural exfoliant for the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting healthy cell turnover. They are also rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. So, next time you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, don’t throw away those grounds.


Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nutrients for composting. Whether you have a home composting system or not, you can easily donate your used coffee grounds to local allotments or city farms. Many coffee shops and chains offer free grounds to their customers for use in their gardens, promoting sustainable waste management.

However, it’s important to note that coffee grounds should be composted for a minimum of 98 days before applying them to plants. This is because coffee grounds contain high levels of caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and tannins, which can be toxic to plants. After the composting process, these toxins are broken down, and the remaining potassium and nitrogen in the coffee grounds can benefit plants.

Bedding for Chickens or Mushrooms

Coffee waste can also be repurposed for various agricultural purposes. For example, it can be used as bedding for chickens. The high carbon content of coffee waste makes it an excellent absorbent material that helps keep chicken coops clean and dry. In addition, coffee grounds can act as a natural repellent to help keep pests away from chickens. Coffee waste can be mixed with other materials, such as sawdust and straw, to create a chicken-friendly and easy-to-clean bedding.

In addition, coffee waste can be used to grow mushrooms due to its high nitrogen content. Mushrooms are known to thrive on coffee grounds, which provide a nutrient-rich environment for their growth. Coffee grounds can be used to grow various types of mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms, shiitakes and portobellos.

Innovative Ways to Utilize Coffee Waste

In this part, we have collected ways to recycle coffee waste that, in our opinion, can be applied on a very large scale in almost any urban environment where there is a sufficiently developed coffee culture. It’s all about entrepreneurs who are able to organize recycling.


In fact, coffee waste has the potential to be used as a source of biofuel. When coffee is brewed, not all the natural oils contained in the coffee beans are released. These oils remain within the coffee grounds that are often thrown away after brewing. However, by extracting the natural oils from coffee waste, they can be transformed into biodiesel through a process called transesterification. The resulting biodiesel is made up of roughly 80% coffee and 20% alcohol, along with glycerin as a byproduct. This biodiesel can be used in standard biofuel generators to create electricity, as seen in a recent experiment by Dunkin’ Donuts, where they developed a small home powered entirely by coffee-derived biofuel. Moreover, coffee-powered biodiesel has also been used in trials on London buses, highlighting the potential for coffee waste to be utilized as an alternative source of energy.

Natural Cat Litter

It may sound funny, but we’re going to talk about cat litter. Did you know, that about 12 mounaines are destroyes every year to produce cat litter? Brand ETICAT proposes a tree-saving product which it does not contribute to deforestation, the main problem associated with traditional clay-based cat litter. By choosing ETICAT, you are making an eco-friendly choice that helps reduce your environmental impact.

ETICAT Cat litter is all-natural clay-free cat litter with no cemicals added. It provides a safe and pleasant environment for you and your furry friend. Unlike other cat litters that can be harmful to your pet’s health, ETICAT is made with decaffeinated coffee grounds, seaweed extract, and cornstarch, ensuring that your cat is not exposed to any harmful chemicals or toxins.

But that’s not all – ETICAT also boasts powerful odor control, thanks to the well-known ability of coffee grounds to neutralize bad smells. This unique formula results in excellent clumping, which makes cleaning a breeze, and very low dust, which means less mess and hassle for you.

Coffee Logs

Instead of using regular wood to heat up this winter, how about tossing in some coffee logs into the fire?

There’s a cool company in the UK called Bio-bBean that collects used coffee grounds from businesses, universities, and train stations all over the country. They take all that coffee waste to their recycling factory in Cambridgeshire and turn it into coffee logs.

The bio-bean peeps say that one of their coffee logs, which is made from the grounds of 25 cups of coffee, burns 20% hotter and longer than kiln-dried wood. Plus, they claim that burning their coffee logs makes 80% less pollution than chucking coffee grounds into a landfill.

Cool Ways to Make Everyday Things

And now we’ll try to offer you some very exotic ways to recycle coffee waste.

Disposable Coffee Cups And Flower Pots

The Ukrainian project Rekava is looking for an alternative to conventional solutions that are often not at all environmentally friendly, such as coffee cups, which are known to be non-biodegradable and require recycling.

Rekava Cup has created disposable cups and lids for hot drinks made from recycled coffee grounds. We spent a lot of time experimenting with different concepts and prototypes to perfect our design. While we can’t reveal all of our technological secrets, we can say that each cup is 60% coffee and the remaining 40% is a mixture of natural ingredients and recycled food waste such as eggshells. And most interestingly, this product is completely plastic-free!

From a scientific point of view, the development has been completed and small batches are currently being produced for our partner establishments. You can buy

In addition to the Rekava cup, the company is working on another product – the Rekava pot. These are eco-friendly pots for seedlings made from recycled coffee grounds. However, the product is still under development.

Video: Rekava | Drink coffee and save the planet


Fabric and Clothes

Recycled coffee grounds can now be turned into clothing thanks to S.Café, a yarn made by Taiwanese textile company Singtex. S.Café combines post-patented processed coffee grounds with recycled polyester to create a master batch that is spun into yarn. The coffee grounds used to make the yarn are sourced from some of the world’s largest coffee vendors, including Starbucks, and the process saves the grounds from ending up in the trash.

Products made with this innovative technology offer natural anti-odor properties and faster drying times compared to cotton, in addition to providing better UV-ray protection and a fresh feel that cools the skin. The material can be used for outdoor and sports performance wear as well as household items. This versatile textile is used in a variety of products, including shirts, bedding, and footwear. Even the 11% coffee oil extracted from the grounds is put to use in cosmetics and layered clothing, leaving no waste behind.

“We will continue to develop to achieve a full range of eco-friendly coffee products,” said Jason Chen, founder of S.Café and President of Singtex. “In addition to textiles, we would like to improve a large extension of S.Café and apply it to different fields of business.”

Video: S.Café® – Drink it, wear it®


Office Furniture

The Re-Worked is a British innovative company that turns coffee waste into stylish furniture. Founded by Adam Fairweather, Re-Worked was born out of a desire to create sustainable products and materials using waste coffee grounds. After helping to develop the Greencup scheme, which turns coffee waste into fertiliser, Fairweather saw an opportunity to take things further.

Re-Worked collaborates with Greencup to collect waste coffee grounds from offices all over the UK. With a ready supply of materials, the company creates stunning furniture pieces for these same offices. Google is just one example of Re-Worked’s satisfied customers, having purchased designer furniture made from a hybrid material consisting of 60% used coffee grounds.

The material, called Çurface, is 100% recycled and combined with ash wood to make durable, high-quality furniture. The result is stylish and sustainable furniture that customers love. With a streamlined sales process, thanks to existing relationships with catering facilities management, Re-Worked is leading the way in eco-friendly furniture design.


I bet you didn’t know that your daily cup of coffee can turn into a beautiful piece of jewelry? British blacksmith Rosalie McMillan shows us how it is possible in her handmade Java Ore collection.

The unique material of the collection makes use of another of Re-Worked’s materials. This material is derived from recycled coffee grounds and combined with gold vermeil, recycled silver or sterling silver to create a beautiful, eco-friendly collection.  You can see her designs are geometric, angular and ultra modern.

Rosalie is passionate about sustainability, which is reflected in her bright and modern pieces. Each piece is geometric, angular and ultra-modern in shape, making a bold statement that is perfect for any fashionable eco-fighter. Not only are you getting a beautiful piece of jewelry, but you’re also doing your part to protect the environment by supporting sustainable practices.  She said her

 “focus is on creating inspirational luxury pieces through reinventing beautiful overlooked materials like coffee grounds, transforming them into striking contemporary pieces of quality and craftsmanship that will intrigue and delight.”

With the Java Ore collection, you can wear your love for the planet on your sleeve, or around your neck, or in your ears!



You may also like...