Queensland coffee lovers launch war on waste

Merlo Coffee are launching a compostable cup crusade to stop more than three million cups going to landfill each year.

Queensland coffee lovers can now feel good about their takeaway caffeine habit with Merlo Coffee launching a compostable cup crusade to stop more than three million cups going to landfill each year.

The Brisbane-based coffee company has teamed up with BioPak to be the first coffee business in the state to introduce eco-friendly takeaway cups and lids at its stores for composting with Merlo’s coffee grounds, food scraps and packaging.

Company founder Dean Merlo said ditching plastic-coated cups and moving to a composting system would cut Merlo’s carbon emissions by 25 per cent and keep 9.4 tonnes of plastic out of landfill each year.

“In our 15 Merlo cafes across Queensland, we go through millions of takeaway cups every year – if you lined them up, they’d stretch from Brisbane to Bundaberg, or from Nundah to Noosa and back again!” Mr Merlo said.

“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.

“Now, thanks to companies like BioPak which produce eco-friendly materials, Merlo customers can keep their caffeine habit and do something good for the earth by dropping their cup in our collection bins. In just eight weeks, your coffee cup becomes healthy worm food.”

From today (Nov 26), customers at Merlo owned cafes will be served takeaway coffee in BioPak single wall cups made from plants, rather than crude oil. Used cups will go into special composting bins in each Merlo store, along with food scraps, packaging and coffee grounds.

Mr Merlo urged coffee lovers to join his company’s compostable campaign.

The waste was be transported to a facility at Swanbank near Ipswich, where recycling and revegetation innovator NuGrow will transform it into organic compost over eight weeks.

BioPak CEO Gary Smith said Merlo customers could now be part of the solution to the national waste crisis.

“Along with a mountain of coffee cups, Australians dump more than eight-million tonnes of food and organic waste that could be composted,” Mr Smith said.

“Decomposing food releases methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, causing enormous damage to our environment.

“We are thrilled that Merlo is leading the way in Queensland by composting its cups and I’m sure its coffee-loving customers will seize the chance to be part of this change.”

Merlo also aims to roll out compostable cups to more than 1600 cafes it supplies with Merlo coffee beans.

Click here to see a short video about the new system.

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