A green solution for green productsBeyond Coffee, Copenhagen, Denmark
Paper, Plastic, Glass, Coffee?
There are many ways of recycling but few of us would think of reusing discarded coffee grounds.
Not so Beyond Coffee. Where most of us see waste, this planet-friendly Copenhagen start-up saw an opportunity: the chance to grow top-quality oyster mushrooms, using the nutrient-rich grounds as feed, and sell them to high-end restaurants.
As well as being beautiful and delicious, oyster mushrooms are also extremely hungry. Their enzymes easily break down the hardwoods they grow on in their natural habitat, and they’ll also quite happily feed on paper, petroleum products and, yes, coffee grounds.
After collecting used organic grounds from big companies around the Danish capital, Beyond Coffee mixes them with mycelium, the part of the fungus that produces mushrooms, and stores the mix in a sealed bag in a dark, cool container. Later, the bags are moved to a light, warm container, and the mushrooms begin to sprout.
Beyond Coffee’s Chariman, Tobias Lau, explains the growth process
As well as providing good conditions for growing oyster mushrooms, Beyond Coffee’s growbags also housed an unwelcome guest: mould. The firm’s search for a clean, green and safe way to eradicate mould led to ACT.Global.
To ensure a hygienic start to the production, we turned to ACT CleanCoat® and treated the mixing room where the coffee grouts are mixed with the mushroom spores. This revolutionary titanium dioxide-based product uses light to trigger a reaction that eliminates moulds and other harmful microbes for up to 12 months.
For the three-week period when the mushrooms are kept in the dark, we advised Beyond Coffee to use ACT Protection for cleaning and hand hygiene. The products from the ACT Protection range offer a ground-breaking combination of technologies that’s ideal for areas where light can’t reach: a polymer that binds itself to the affected surfaces, plus a disinfectant that eliminates microbes and other contaminants.
Finally, we added the ACT ECA System, a range of products that use electricity to turn saltwater into a clean and natural liquid detergent, to Beyond Coffee’s daily cleaning routine.
Ebbe Korsgaard, CEO of Beyond Coffee with one of their grow-oyster mushrooms-at-home kits
Ebbe Korsgaard, CEO of Beyond Coffee
The change to the ACT Solution was actually surprisingly seamless. Once the coating was in place we only had to change a few steps in the cleaning process, and then we were good to go. Before we had implemented the ACT Solution we would sometimes discard 50% of a harvest, now we are closer to an average of 5%. Needless to say, we are rather satisfied with these results.
As Beyond Coffee is centralising and upscaling the production, we are proud to be a part of this green journey that takes circular economy to the next step.
For more information on Beyond Coffee, see: http://www.beyondcoffee.eu/