London is a city of coffee addicts. There’s nothing we love more than an ethical Kenyan brew from Monmouth, a slow-brewed cup from Prufrock and a quirky espresso in the urinal at Attendant. In fact, we drink an estimated 200,000 tonnes of coffee every year. But what to do with all those left over coffee grounds? Use them as compost? Make a face mask out of them? How about running a car on them?
While studying architecture at University College London, Arthur Kay discovered a technology that enables us to convert coffee grounds into fuel. That’s right guys, the future has arrived and London’s big red buses may soon be turning green, as Arthur’s aspirational project is working to transform our waste coffee grounds into biofuel.
Having recently won a European environmental prize of £400,000, Arthur plans to kickstart his 18 month-old company Bio-bean, which carries out the process. At the moment London’s air has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide of any capital city in Europe, but maybe with Arthur’s attempt at reducing CO2 emissions we can finally take a (less toxic) sigh of relief.
He is already collecting the waste from some of Britain’s biggest coffee chains and aims to recycle up to 40 percent of London’s coffee by next year. And if our caffeine habits are anything to go by, there’s plenty of coffee waste to go around.
Take a look at London’s best coffee shops here.