Fast food sustainability is the next frontier to be tackled and McDonald’s seems to be ending the year on an ambitious note with their latest venture. The Golden Arches announced that they’re turning coffee bean waste into car parts.
In collaboration with Ford Motor Company, the burger chain is taking coffee chaff — the dried skin on the bean that falls off during the roast — and converting it into a durable product that’s used to strengthen vehicle parts.
Under low oxygen and high temperatures, the coffee chaff is heated and mixed with plastic and a few other additives and made into pellets that can be molded into different kinds of shapes. Ford Motor says that coffee chaff actually much better heat properties than the materials that they currently use.
McDonald’s goes through millions of pounds of coffee chaff every year and typically it’s used for things like garden mulch or charcoal. Through this collaboration, a new alternative use for the wasted material presents itself for the fast food chain. This effort will divert waste from landfills, use significantly less petroleum, and lower CO2 emissions through the production of bioplastic car parts. McDonald’s expects to source 100 percent of its consumer packaging from recycled or renewable sources by 2025.
Wonder how many car parts I’ve contributed to with all the McDonald’s coffee I’ve had over the years?