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Best of 2018: Coffee cups made from waste coffee grounds

Originally published on 28 September

German start-up Kaffeeform designed various coffee cups, including a take-away cup, made from waste coffee grounds.

Many of us love a cup of coffee in the morning, or evening, whether we’re on the go, at home, or at the office. Product designer Julian Lechner wanted to do something with used coffee grounds, rather than throwing them away. After 3 years of experimenting, he developed the material Kaffeeform, which can be used to make products.

To make the material, coffee grounds from local coffee shops in Berlin are collected, dried, and mixed with biopolymers, starch, cellulose, wood, natural resins, waxes, and oils. The resulting composite material is biodegradable, light, with a smell of coffee and the look of dark wood.

In 2015, Kaffeeform launched their first product, an espresso cup, followed in 2016 by a cappuccino cup. In 2018, they designed the Weducer cup, an alternative to paper to-go cups. According to the International Coffee Organisation, about 600 billion paper and plastic cups are used annually worldwide, a growing environmental issue. Kaffeeform’s to-go cup, which is made entirely of their coffee material, has been awarded the Red Dot Best of the Best Design Award in the category materials in 2018.

All Kaffeeform’s cups are dishwasher-safe, BPA- and petroleum-free, and durable, and have good insulation properties. While the cups are designed to be used long-term and biodegradable at end of life, Kaffeeform also offers a service to take back the cup when you’re finished with it to recycle it. They turn the material into 3D printable filament, extrude tiles, or new cups.

For other materials and products made from coffee, click here.

Photos: Kaffeeform

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