Join us in our war on waste!

From Monday 26 November, Merlo Coffee takeaway cups and lids are all fully compostable.

We’ve teamed up with BioPak – global leaders in the production of environmentally-sustainable packaging – on a crusade to keep more than 3 million Merlo takeaway cups out of landfill, by introducing fully compostable, eco-friendly packaging for our customers.

Now, you can do something good for the earth by dropping a Merlo BioCup in our collection bins outside any Merlo Coffee store.

These cups and lids will be combined with Merlo’s coffee grounds, food scraps and packaging and within eight weeks it will transform it into organic compost – fantastic worm food!


How does it work?


Organic waste bin

All cups, lids, coffee grounds, food scraps and compostable packaging go into a green bin.



Collected weekly from Merlo Coffee stores across SEQ and in Melbourne.



Organic waste is processed into nutrient rich compost in less than 8 weeks.

Making a difference

BioCups from BioPak are the first and only products of their kind certified carbon neutral, B Corp and commercially compostable to AS4736 standards in Australia and New Zealand.

BioPak purchases carbon credits to cover the emissions creation from raw material to manufacturing and transportation and disposal in landfill.

The new Merlo compostable BioCups and lids mean that our customers can make a big difference.

Simply by ditching plastic cups, carbon emissions from Merlo packaging will be cut by 25 per cent and we will keep 9.4 tonnes of plastic out of landfill each year.

You can see our full impact here:

So far BioPak have also planted 75 trees on Merlo’s behalf in the Daintree and ongoing, they will also donate 7.5% of profits towards positive change.

Our future

Doing our part

Even though Merlo is all blue, we strive to be green wherever we can.

For example:

  • Our Alto blend, Brazilian single origin and Decaf all come from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms which are managed according to rigorous environmental, social and economic criteria.
  • We encourage the use of a reusable cup for takeaway coffees. Buy one from us and we’ll give your first coffee free and a discount for every coffee in your cup after that!
  • Bring your clean coffee tin or bag (valve intact) back in for a refill and we’ll give you a $1 discount.
  • The husks from our roasters are compacted into pellets which can be used in the garden, as a fire starter or in worm farms.
  • We encourage the use of coffee grounds in garden beds and compost bins. Bring in a reusable container to collect yours from a store today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Special compost bins will be available at all Merlo Coffee stores to collect all used takeaway coffee cups and lids.

These will be combined with each Merlo store’s coffee grounds, food waste and compostable packaging.

A recycling and waste management firm will transport the waste to the facility where recycling and revegetation innovator NuGrow will transform it into organic compost over eight weeks. For SEQ, this facility is located at Swanbank near Ipswich and in Melbourne, this facility is located in Geelong.

Unfortunately not. The cups require commercial compost conditions which optimises the temperature and process to ensure the cups will biodegrade within 8 to 12 weeks. Home composting does not reach the temperatures required (55 degrees Celsius) for the bioplastic to decompose.

Got more questions about BioCups and lids? Read their FAQ here.

Along with the switch to fully compostable BioCups, we have also changed to a single wall cup design. By switching to single wall, we save 112 tonnes of paper and the 335 tonnes of trees that are required to make it.

Long black and tea drinkers, never fear! We’ve got a handy compostable sleeve that can be added to your cup to save your fingers from the heat.

The new Merlo BioCups are made from renewable plant-based resources. BioPak use Ingeo™ PLA bioplastic that results in 75% less greenhouse gases than the conventional plastic it replaces.

Unlike conventional plastics – which are made from finite fossil resources (oil and gas) – bioplastics are made from a number of renewable resources such as plant oils, cellulose, starches, sugars, carbohydrates, bacteria and algae.

The bioplastic we use in BioPak packaging is certified compostable. This means it will completely biodegrade in a compost environment within a defined timeframe and leave behind no toxic residues.

At this stage, if you’ve got a Merlo takeaway cup and lid, just drop it in the bin – it’s as simple as that.

We’ll take care of the rest!

Within Merlo stores, our team will be composting all food waste and coffee and tea waste, along with our compostable packaging.

While we appreciate your enthusiasm for our new initiative, please only drop your Merlo Coffee takeaway cups and lids into the organic compost bins.

Do not drop plastic & cardboard packaging, such as glossy boxes that hold biscuits and slices, plastic wrap, carbon paper (tax invoice or eftpos rolls) and sugar sachet wrappers.

We also cannot accept plastic, glass & metal cans, bottles & containers, including milk bottles and newspapers (due to the ink).

Polystyrene or biodegradable cups, including Styrofoam, from other coffee brands should also not be placed in our compost bins.

Bring a reusable cup when you buy your coffee – all Merlo Coffee stores offer $0.50 off for a refill.

Bring back your coffee packaging – all Merlo Coffee stores offer $1 off every tin or bag refill (bags must be in clean condition and undamaged).

We’re happy to give you some of our used coffee grounds for use in your garden; just bring in a container!

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

Along with a mountain of coffee cups, Australians dump more than eight-million tonnes of food and organic waste that could be composted. Decomposing food releases methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, causing enormous damage to our environment.

We know that Merlo customers are environmentally-savvy and want to keep their caffeine habit but not harm the earth, so we’re taking steps to be part of positive change.