[SPONSORED REPORTS] Hyundai Steel’s big plans for coffee grounds

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[SPONSORED REPORTS] Hyundai Steel’s big plans for coffee grounds

A presentation is being held at the second Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project conference on the 29th of July. [HYUNDAI STEEL]

A presentation is being held at the second Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project conference on the 29th of July. [HYUNDAI STEEL]

Hyundai Steel’s Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project aims to promote environmental, social and economic value generation and local community development through the reuse of used coffee grounds.

On average, Koreans drink 512 cups of coffee per year leading to about 15 tons of waste in coffee grounds annually, most of which is incinerated. Coffeebak has become a term used to describe these waste grounds.

Last year, Hyundai Steel signed more than 10 memorandums of understanding with various organizations including the Ministry of Environment and Michuhol-Gu of Incheon, creating a foundation for a public coffeebak pickup-disposal system.

This year, which is the second year of the project, public pickup-disposal systems were launched in Jung-gu and Michuhol-gu of Incheon. A number of companies, who were selected after winning a competition, began manufacturing upcycled products using coffeebak.

By Hyundai Steel’s estimation, 3.6 million tons of coffeebak are projected to be recycled while saving 210 million won ($177,000) in waste disposal expenditure per year. In addition, 300,000 products are expected to be produced, which will also lead to the creation of jobs in the local market.

What differentiates the Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project from other social contribution campaigns is its nature of “public-private fields’ cooperation” and its sustainability.

Hyundai Steel, the Korea Productivity Center and the Korean Green Foundation built the schematics of public pickup-disposal system as corporations, while partnering with local governments that took on the responsibility of choosing coffee shops to pick up coffeebak from and the actual pickup process.

Manufacturing companies can benefit greatly from this project by procuring raw materials for their upcycled goods, making it self-sustainable within the local community.

The second Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project conference was held on the 29th of July and hosted by Hyundai Steel, the Korea Productivity Center and the Korean Green Foundation, with help from Jung-gu and Michuhol-gu and Incheon City.

To promote the Incheon’s participation in the program, various representatives from pertinent departments of local governments were invited to attend Hyundai Steel’s project performance review.

The project aims to garner the participation of more than 600 coffee shops and retrieve 50 tons of coffeebak by its third year.

“The Coffeebak Resource Recovery Project was made possible thanks to support from every participating party; Incheon City, Jung-gu and Michuhol-gu. I sincerely hope more local governments from Incheon will participate in the program in the year three,” said an official from Hyundai Steel.

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