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Our challenge

After oil, coffee is the most traded commodity in the world. Making coffee is very inefficient. Only about 0.2% of the biomass of the coffee bean ends up in your cup of coffee. The remaining 99.8% will be thrown away and end up being incinerated.

In the Netherlands alone about 120 million kg of coffee grounds are thrown away every year. Rotterzwam aims to close the loop and give as large a quantity of coffee grounds as a possible a useful destination as a valuable resource. We do this by motivating entrepreneurs and individuals to tackle this challenge and offer them skills and equipment to do it.

You can find the equipment in the menu.

Food miles

The average dinner travels about 10.000 to 15.000 km before reaching your plate. The beans could, for instance, come from Kenia, the wine from Sout-Africa and the steak from Argentina. These long-distance supply-chains cause an enormous amount of pollution. The additional CO2 emissions of shipping a bottle of wine from Chili vs from France quickly adds up to 2kg.

We are able to keep our entire operation within a circle of 55 km diameter, from resource collection and production to consumption. 90% of our resources (coffee grounds) comes from within the city of Rotterdam.

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The environmental impact of meat consumption

The enormous impact of meat production on the environment is little exposed. In the film  Cowspiracy this impact is exposed and dissected. If you ask the majority of people what they could do to safe water, most answers range from reducing shower times and installing a dual push button flush at the WC.

The amount of water necessary to produce meat, however, is enormous. About 15.000 liters of drinking water is necessary to produce 1 kg of beef. You would save about as much water by not eating that hamburger as you would by not showering for 6 Months. That is an incredible amount of water! This is why the best way to save water is by eating less meat.

In our society, the majority of protein consumed comes from animal source. In the supermarket, the ratio of animal protein to plant protein is roughly 80/20. Our aim is that a larger percentage of protein from non-animal source will be in our shops and supermarkets as well as collective diets.

There are documentaires which demonstate proof taht excessive meat consumption is detrimental to human health.

Returning Carbon to the soil

Coffee grounds are generally tossed into the mixed bin and not collected separately. This way it disappears in incinerators or landfills. We believe that organic material such as coffee grounds should never be incinerated.

There are several different interesting applications for coffee grounds. The most obvious is food production but it can also be used in the production of bioplastics.

After serving as a substrate for food production enzymes can still be extracted from the coffee grounds which can be further used for the production of biofuels.

Finally used coffee grounds should be returned back to our soils. Our mushroom compost has twice the amount of organic matter as green compost. By returning it to agricultural soils it is possible to improve soil structure and stimulate the fixing of carbon within the soil which makes them more fertile.

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