The idea for creating products with waste coffee came working in a design store in Shoreditch, when making coffees and seeing the amount of coffee waste that ended up in the bin.
An estimated 250,000 tonnes of coffee waste are sent to landfill each year, with less than 1% of the actual coffee bean used to create a coffee. This coffee has also traveled hundreds of miles from the likes of Columbia or Panama to then be used and get discarded. This is excessive waste.
According to the World Bank, we currently generate over 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste globally each year, with projections reaching 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050. Almost 40% of that waste is disposed of in landfills where it generates harmful greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change.
We realised that while this waste is great for compost, there is still too much waste going to landfill. After researching the industry, we eventually came across a sustainable company called Smile Plastics. They specialise in collecting waste plastic and turning it into panels. We met with founder Adam in 2016 who had in fact already created a material out of coffee, named Çurface. This material was not yet readily available on the market though, only being used as the material for bespoke cladding in the odd coffee shop and office.
We worked tirelessly with Adam on this project, perfecting the material and table design. Adam had set up a process with Green Cup in order to gather waste coffee from local and large coffee shops, offering a circular coffee solution where the waste they create can actually be used to make the furniture in their spaces.
We were relentless in developing this material for use as furniture and, with Adam, continued to perfect the material.
I wanted the table to be simple, elegant and timeless whilst celebrating this beautiful and environmentally-engaged material, and I want more people to change the way they see and value material. It’s important that the form utilises sets as much of the material as possible, by tessellating the shapes to minimise waste when cutting out the design from the panels
Joshua Renouf, Creative Director at JoyResolve
Smile Plastics’ mission is to change the perceptions around waste via innovation – using art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and open eyes to the unexpected beauty of scrap. In doing so, they hope to inspire more people about sustainability and recycling.
This project is the first of many JoyResolve and Smile Plastics collaborations.