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26th of November 2018Composting & recycling

Merlo Coffee diverting 3 million cups into compost with BioPak

Merlo Coffee today launching a compostable cup crusade to stop more than three million cups going to landfill each year.


Update: 10 February 2020

Queensland icon, Merlo Coffee, has turned up the heat on its goal of saving more than 3 million Merlo takeaway cups from landfill each year, already diverting more than 37 tonnes of organics in 2019 through its compostables initiative.

In late 2018, the business teamed up with BioPak to introduce fully compostable cups and lids for customers, that are then sent to organics recyclers such as NuGrow.

The initiative has made impressive headway, with NuGrow, Merlo’s major recycling partner, already manufacturing more than 1,100m³ of compost using Merlo’s organics as inputs since January.

Original blog (Nov 2018):

Brisbane-based coffee company Merlo Coffee has teamed up with BioPak to be the first coffee business in the Queensland to introduce compostable takeaway cups and lids at its stores for composting — through with BioPak Compost Service — along with coffee grounds, food scraps and packaging 

Company founder Dean Merlo said “In our 15 Merlo cafes across Queensland, we go through millions of takeaway cups every year – if you lined them up, they’d stretch from Brisbane to Byron Bay and back again!”.

Ditching conventional plastic-coated cups and switching to BioPak compostable coffee cups and lids will cut Merlo’s carbon emissions by 25 per cent, keep 9.4 tonnes of plastic out of landfill and create 164 tonnes of compost each year.

From today (Monday 26 November), customers at Merlo-owned cafes will be served takeaway coffee in BioPak single-wall compostable cups made from plants, rather than crude oil.

The used cups will go into special composting bins in each Merlo store, along with food scraps, packaging and coffee grounds.The waste will be transported to a facility at Swanbank near Ipswich, where recycling and revegetation innovator NuGrow turns it into organic compost.

BioPak CEO Gary Smith said Merlo customers could now be part of the solution to the national waste crisis. "Along with a mountain of coffee cups, Australians dump more than eight-million tonnes of food and organic waste that could be composted,” Mr Smith said.

“Decomposing food releases methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, causing enormous damage to our environment.

“We are thrilled that Merlo is leading the way in Queensland by composting its cups and organic waste — I’m sure its coffee-loving customers will seize the chance to be part of this change.”

Merlo also aims to roll out compostable cups to 1600+ cafes it supplies with Merlo coffee beans.

Want to make a difference? Join the BioPak compost service and start composting.