320,000 coffee to go cups are used every hour in Germany (according to Deut­sche Umwelt­hilfe DUH), this are 3 Billions cups per year. A giant garbage dump. According to DUH, the dispo­sable cups are also predo­mi­nantly made of paper fibers, for which new mate­rial and no recy­cled paper are usually used. Moreover, because the cups are not only made of paper but also of plastic, the coffee to go cups are diffi­cult to recycle. The start-up company Carbo­ge­nics (UK), which grew out of a rese­arch project at the Univer­sity of Edin­burgh, has come up with an idea on how to use pyro­lysis (carbo­ni­za­tion process / char­ring) to recycle these cups into biochar. The biochar can then be used again in agri­cul­ture as a soil condi­tioner or to improve the biogas process. This is more than an ecofri­endly recy­cling solu­tion for paper cups: During char­ring, a large part of the carbon contained in the biochar is stably stored. If the biochar of paper cups is applied into the soil, the carbon is extracted from the atmo­s­phere for centu­ries (active CO2 reduc­tion).

Read more about the CreChar-Project.