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Coffee lovers reveal green credentials on World Environment Day

A surge in reusable cups and the introduction of Queensland’s first coffee company composting program has seen Merlo Coffee customers save more than 19 tonnes of waste from landfill in the past three months alone.

Merlo Coffee founder Dean Merlo said 13 per cent of all coffee purchased at the company’s 16 Merlo cafes were now made by customers with reusable cups.

“Some of our stores have seen as much as an 11 per cent increase in reusable cups in the past year alone, demonstrating that coffee drinkers are environmentally savvy and looking for ways to reduce waste,” he said.

Merlo Coffee teamed up with BioPak late last year to be the first coffee business in the state to introduce eco-friendly takeaway cups and lids as part of a composting program that also included coffee grounds and  food scraps from its stores.

“Ditching plastic-coated cups and moving to a composting system allows us to cut Merlo’s carbon emissions by 25 per cent and create what we hope will be nearly 100 tonnes of compost each year,” Mr Merlo said.

“It’s the equivalent of saving 60 wheelie bins full of waste from ending up in landfill each fortnight.”

Mr Merlo said the eco-friendly cups were made from plants, rather than crude oil, and were deposited in special composting bins available at Merlo stores.

“The waste gets transported to a revegetation facility at Swanbank near Ipswich where it becomes healthy worm food in just eight weeks,” he said.

Merlo Coffee Chief Executive Officer James Wilkinson said the theme for this year’s World Environment Day was Beat Air Pollution and improved waste practices was one way to address air pollution.

“Separating organic waste and turning it into compost improves soil fertility and provides an alternate energy source so our program is making a genuine difference,” Mr Wilkinson said.

He said research revealed Australians used one billion disposable cups every year.

“With reusable cups and our composting system, we are saving more than three million takeaway coffee cups from ending up in landfill each year,” Mr Wilkinson said.  “It may seem like a drop in the ocean, but every cup helps.”

Click here to read more about Composting at Merlo.