Making moves to a greener way of doing coffee business

Friday, 29 April, 2022

We love to see big business making strides to do business better and more environmentally friendly (Check out Issue 39 for innovative solutions on takeaway cups). And Bootlegger is doing just that! Plus we'd never heard of Ywaste, but what an absolutely awesome company! 

Bootlegger Coffee Company co-founder and director Pieter Bloem with Emile Fourie, owner of Ywaste

Coffee goes green as Bootlegger turns food waste into compost

Bootlegger Coffee Company customers can now buy gardening essentials along with their cappuccino, as the company has partnered with a food waste management specialist to turn its waste into compost.

South Africa’s municipal landfills are rapidly running out of airspace, and the solution is recycling, said Pieter Bloem, Bootlegger Coffee Company co-founder and director. “We want to play our part to help the country avoid reaching day zero for landfill airspace.”

Bootlegger has engaged Ywaste, who provide an eco-friendly methodology for the management of food waste through off-site composting. “Now our customers can up their eco-friendly street credibility by buying bags of Bootlegger top soil, potting soil and compost made with their used coffee grounds and organic food waste for just R40 for a bag,” Bloem said. 

Healthy soils are fundamental to survival, as they are essential for healthy plant growth, nutrition and water filtration, and also help to regulate the climate and store carbon. “At the same time that we are focused on improving soil quality, we are helping government with their zero waste to landfill goals.”

“The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertiliser is that it adds organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention, and aeration in the soil,” said Emile Fourie, owner of Ywaste which has diverted 5 600 tonnes of waste from landfill in the past 11 years.

Bootlegger has always had a community-centric focus, using beans which are 100% sustainably sourced and roasted at their micro-roastery in Woodstock, and are proudly 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified, meaning all products and ingredients have been produced using methods that support the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental.

“We would like to encourage other restaurants to avoid landfill, make the switch and make a difference in their communities with similar sustainable and eco-friendly approaches,” Bloem said.

Currently 80% of Bootlegger franchisees are participating in the initiative, with more envisioned to come on board before year-end.

For every 10 bags of compost bought, Bootlegger will donate 1 bag of compost to a community food garden.

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