Starbucks is getting greener all the time. They are flirting with a new recycling process that will turn coffee grinds and muffins into laundry detergent and bio plastics.
This mission is being lead by scientists at the City University of Hong Kong and is being tested at a new food ‘biorefinery,’ that diverts food waste and transforms it into viable, usable products.
The biorefinery process involves combining the baked goods with a mixture of fungi that help break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars. Its fermented in a vat where bacteria turns the sugars into succinic acid which is a material used to produce everything from laundry detergent, plastic, to medicine. The baked goods can be used to create livestock feed.
The Starbucks in Hong Kong itself currently produces around 5000 tons of coffee and pastry waste each year, which currently ends up in either incinerated, composted or disposed of in landfills.
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