Awakening Finland's Green Potential

Preloved Coffee Brews Sustainability from Spent Coffee Grounds

Biowaste management is a crucial aspect of sustainable development, and Finland has made significant strides in this area. Biowaste refers to biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, offices, restaurants, wholesale, canteens, caterers and retail premises and comparable waste from food processing plants (1) . Since 2016, landfilling of biowaste has been prohibited in Finland (1) . Instead, biowaste is used to produce compost and biogas (1) . In 2020, there were 186 composting plants operational in Finland, most of which were windrow composting plants. Windrow composting is mainly used as a post-composting method of wastewater sludge (1) . There has been a strong shift from composting to anaerobic digestion of biodegradable waste. Composting is becoming a post-treatment of already digested waste. Most of the new biological treatment plants under design or in construction are biogas plants. Composting and biogas plants are owned by municipalities, governmental companies, or private companies (including biogas plants in farms) (1) . In 2021, there were 78 biogas plants in Finland. Biogas plants can be divided into co-treatment plants. farm plants and wastewater sludge treatment plants. Co-treatment plants treat a variety of biowastes with agricultural manure and wastewater sludges. Farm plants deal with manure as well as other organic waste and by-products of agriculture (1) .
Why Should Spent Coffee Grounds Be Treated Differently in Finland?

Finland's high annual consumption of coffee, resulting in a significant volume of spent coffee grounds, warrants a distinct approach to its management. Here's why:

1. Abundance of Raw Material: With approximately 55,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds generated annually, Finland possesses an abundant source of biowaste that can be upcycled into valuable products and resources.

2. Sustainability Goals: Finland has ambitious sustainability goals, including reducing carbon emissions and promoting a circular economy. Upcycling spent coffee grounds aligns with these objectives and can contribute to achieving them.

3. Resource Efficiency: Given the nutrient-rich nature of coffee grounds, their proper treatment and utilization can significantly enhance soil quality and reduce the environmental impact of synthetic fertilizers.

4. Innovation and Economic Opportunities: By encouraging research and innovation in the upcycling of coffee grounds, Finland can foster new industries, create jobs, and position itself as a leader in sustainable biowaste management.

Alternative Bio-Materials from Spent Coffee Grounds?

Apart from energy and nutrient recovery, spent coffee grounds can serve as a source of alternative bio-materials. Here are a few examples:

1. Bioplastics: Researchers are exploring the use of spent coffee grounds to develop biodegradable plastics. These bioplastics can be a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics, reducing plastic pollution and environmental harm.

2. Biofuels: Spent coffee grounds contain oils that can be extracted and processed into biodiesel. This reduces waste and contributes to Finland's efforts to promote cleaner transportation fuels.

3. Cosmetics and Personal Care Products: Compounds in coffee, such as caffeine and antioxidants, have potential applications in cosmetics and personal care products. Spent coffee grounds can be a source of these natural ingredients.

4. Textiles: Coffee grounds can be used to create sustainable textiles and fabrics. These textiles can be used in clothing, upholstery, and other applications, reducing the demand for traditional, resource-intensive textiles.

Preloved Coffee’s goal of upcycling spent coffee grounds in Finland represents a promising avenue for sustainable biowaste management. It not only reduces waste but also offers numerous benefits, from resource recovery to the development of alternative bio-materials. Given the country's high coffee consumption, it is essential for Finland to recognize the potential of spent coffee grounds and adopt dedicated strategies for their efficient utilisation. Preloved Coffee dedicated that Finland can continue its journey toward a more sustainable and circular economy while setting an example for others to follow.




We give new life to spent coffee grounds!


Spent coffee grounds are not just waste!


We have joined the fight against climate change!

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