British Coffee Association’s Circular Economy Review “Bean to Bin and Beyond” Published

British Coffee Association’s Circular Economy Review “Bean to Bin and Beyond” Published

January 6 - 2022 Coffee Geography Magazine

The British Coffee Association has published a white paper, Bean to Bin and Beyond, which details the progress, barriers and opportunities in embedding a fully circular economy in the UK coffee industry. Aiming to become the first industry to achieve a fully circular supply chain in the UK, the report sets out a clear framework to help BCA members and the industry-at-large achieve this ambition.

Bean to Bin and Beyond includes seven goals to pave the way for the coffee industry to achieve key principles of circularity, in line with the Governments 25-year environmental plan which sets out the UK’s vision to reduce waste and our environmental impact. These BCA goals for the coffee industry are:

    Zero-waste packaging by 2025 – aim to switch to 100% recyclable or re-usable packaging across all products within the next seven years with 0% of waste going to landfill.

    Support the BCA in encouraging the UK Government to expand investment in recycling and waste management infrastructure, including investment in composting facilities and the improvement of waste collection infrastructure across Local Authorities and individual household.

Responsible sourcing of all packaging materials – including plastic, paper, cardboard, and aluminium through enhanced supply chain transparency, traceability and investment in technologies that reduce waste to landfill.

    UK coffee companies to conduct lifecycle assessments (LCA’s) across their supply chains to identify opportunities to create efficiencies, minimise waste and potential to improve circularity.

    Evidenced industry commitment to creating initiatives that help consumers understand how and where to recycle used coffee products and materials – including education through best practice examples and recommendations. This can be supported by improved transparency in labelling and on-pack recycling information as well as the creation of digital technology such as recycling apps and other tools that will help educate as well as inspire consumers to change their behavior around the use, re-use and recycling of materials in their daily coffee products.

    Optimal transportation routes to be viewed and reviewed by all UK coffee companies with sharing of best practice – across supply chains both within the UK and globally, companies should look to minimize carbon usage through transportation and drive adoption of green technology through their transportation networks.

    Encouraging the adoption of the circular economy principles in the production and processing stages at origin – this represents a way of supporting coffee producers’ efforts to adapt to and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change while helping to reduce the environmental impact of coffee farming.


 Published to mark the beginning of UK Recycling Week 2018, the white paper builds on the sustainability BCA Sustainability Mission published by the trade organization last September and recognizes that there are a great number of opportunities to be harnessed and an equal number of challenges yet to be overcome in order to achieve a sustainable circular economy. Amongst the key challenges to overcome that are identified is closer industry collaboration and, vitally, stronger government commitment in expanding existing recycling infrastructure available in the UK and improving consistency in material recycling across local authorities.

The report also highlights the progress made to date, detailing a number of key sustainability initiatives underway across the industry including the circularity from the capturing of waste coffee grounds to embedding green transport infrastructure, to supporting farms in origin countries in reducing waste and improving efficiency.

To view the full report, please click here