Circular Coffee Update May 2018

Hi guys!

The circular train got up to speed! We’ve been very busy behind the scenes, a little update:

  • Reincarnating cardboard. In our January update we talked about our collaboration with the Excess Materials Exchange, the trade platform for usable ‘waste’. We’re getting up to speed on this one, with a start-up rolling out of it. It is called ‘Ouwe Dozûh’, a funny way to describe old boxes in Dutch. What the start-up simply does is picking up old boxes at companies that have too much of it and don’t want to pay excessive waste bills, and deliver them to companies that need as-good-as-new boxes for a very reduced price. Everybody wins, and the environment as well. Want to get some boxes, or get rid of them? Check:
  • Helping the environment, for free. Remember we talked about reusable cups? We’ve now started a fund. A fund? Every time a customer brings his or her own cup, a café saves around €0,10 on paper cup expenses, including the lid. This money can now directly go into a fund that is used to educate farmers on environmental friendly ways of growing coffee. So people don’t pollute their local towns anymore with single-use cups, and directly donate to a good cause, all done when bringing a reusable cup. Sounds intriguing and might want to join? Pay close attention to the This Side Up updates the coming weeks, we’re very close to the launch! 
  • Coffee sludge really needs to go places. Back in November, we thought it would be an easy call getting rid of the very nutritious coffee sludge that roasters and cafés throw away every day. There are quite some initiatives here and there, but they don’t cover all corners of the nation yet, or provide a steady pick-up service. Time to put some more energy on this topic. We’ve managed to connect Lebkov & Sons in Leiden to the Indoorvolkstuin in Rijnsburg, are looking into solutions at Van Rossum’s Koffie in Zutphen, and might have found an experimental partner for Stielman in Rotterdam. Do you have a lot of coffee sludge left or actually want to have it for your big vegetable garden? Let us know!
  • Overview is nice. We’ve updated the projects page at the This Side Up website, to give a clearer overview on what’s happening and how you can join. Look at  

As you can see, many exciting projects! Don’t just sit there, but join at least one of them! A little bit of positive impact has never hurt anyone, has it?

Be in touch!


Circular Coffee Update January 2018

Building forward on the 5 measures that were selected from the November Circular
Coffee Workshop, Lennart and Maarten really got into it the last few weeks.

A quick update:


  • Pilot project with the Excess Materials Exchange. For the Circular Coffee project, This Side Up has teamed up with the circular start-up Excess Materials Exchange, a digital facilitated marketplace where companies can exchange any excess materials and products. Specifically, the collaboration will consist of testing the online market place for excess packaging (like cardboard boxes), and possibly also for coffee sludge. Interested parties for the pilot, especially those with a huge consumption of packaging materials, and those with way too much of it in the bins every week, are more than welcome to join.
  • This Side Up premium shifts from social, to circular. It happened already here and there, the premiums paid on top of the This Side Up coffees were spent at some environmental aims. But now it becomes the firms policy – to see where the premiums can be used to help farmers socially, but also environmentally – focused on stronger financial independence, less intensive resource use, less pollution and a better future for people and planet. It is not always easy to find a solid balance, but making the world a bit better, actually never has.
  • Bring Your Own Cup, comparing the realistic options. Most of us in the industry have experienced it, it’s tough to find a reusable cup that people actually use, which stimulates people to bring it around, and reduces the disposal of paper cups in the end. We’ve looked into some new and innovative options, and made a ‘comparison document’, which will come out soon. Roasters, cafés and other interested parties can then write themselves in, so that we can buy it together at a cheaper bulk price. As a community we will then organise a ‘bring-your- own- cup’ awareness week – a week where we will try to pay a little bit more attention to telling our customers the importance of bringing such a cup. Together, we can start a change.
  • Talks, talks, and talks. We are talking with a lot of partners, organisations and firms. All kinds of people, spanning from milk people to agronomists, from vegetable farmers to oat milk producers and from the Specialty Coffee Organisation to cascara importers. A lot is in the pipeline!

We will keep you posted, a lot of cool stuff is happening soon. In the meantime, if you’re
interested in joining a specific project, or if you have any other good ideas or comments,
please let us know.

Kind regards,
Maarten –