Grounds for recycling

The Tokyo-based firm of Hakugen is working with the Coca-Cola company to recycle coffee grounds to make disposable pocket-warmers.



The Tokyo-based firm of Hakugen is working with Coca-Cola to recycle coffee grounds to make disposable pocket-warmers.


The joint initiative will enable coffee grounds generated through the production of Georgia canned coffee at three Coca-Cola plants to be processed into activated carbon for the pocket warmers.


The coffee grounds will be sold to a manufacturer of activated carbon and the activated carbon that is produced will then be bought by Hakugen as a raw material.


Activated carbon exerts an exothermic reaction on iron filings, the main raw material used in disposable pocket warmers.


Hakugen will begin using activated carbon derived from the Coca-Cola coffee grounds for all of its pocket warmers, beginning this month.


The three Coca-Cola plants involved in the recycling initiative – Tama Plant (Higashikurume, Tokyo), Saitama Plant (Yoshimi-machi, SaitamaPrefecture) and Ibaraki Plant (Tsuchiura, IbarakiPrefecture) – generate 10,000 tonnes of coffee grounds a year.


A portion of this waste will be used to produce the activated carbon.


Coffee grounds and used tea leaves account for approximately 80 per cent of solid waste generated by the plants.


Prior to the new initiative, the coffee grounds were used for compost.


Coca-Cola is also working to develop an effective means of using used tea leaves.


Hakugen sold 550m disposable pocket warmers during the autumn and winter seasons of 2007.