BeeBlue is an Amsterdam-based collective working to upcycle waste – including used coffee grounds, orange peel, bread and plastic – into products with a positive impact on nature, society and economy.
Among BeeBlue’s products are Toost, a beer brewed from bread that had otherwise been thrown away, and Upcrate, a bicycle crate made of 100% plastic waste.
But the most standout and the one gaining popularity is SOOP – a natural hand and body soap made from coffee grounds, orange peel and orange oil, which is available in both a traditional bar and liquid soap in a bottle, all of which are packaged using recycled materials.
Every year, the Netherlands produces 134 million kilos of coffee grounds and 250 million kilos of orange peels as by-products of the consumption of coffee and orange juice. SOOP converts these residual streams into valuable raw materials for soap that is palm oil-free, biodegradable, and free from chemicals and plastics often used by other soap varieties.
BeeBlue started life as a circular business in 2016 when, after experimenting in his own kitchen, co-founder Robert-Willem Dol, came up with the idea of using the raw materials of coffee grounds and orange peels in soap. Last year, BeeBlue’s SOOP became available internationally.
BeeBlue co-founder Noor Buur said: “[BeeBlue] contributes to the re-use of residual flows – such as coffee grounds, orange peels and unsold bread that others had been discarded – as valuable raw materials. With this we create value. This is economic value: the need to use new raw materials less, and the prevention of waste. But more importantly, social value: the products are inspiring examples of how we can deal differently with residual flows that we now see as ‘waste’ and unjustly scrap.”
BeeBlue is currently developing a dispenser version of SOOP for use by hotels and offices.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com