BeeBlue: Creating functional products – soap, beer and bicycle crates – from waste products

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.

BeeBlue

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “BeeBlue: Creating functional products – soap, beer and bicycle crates – from waste products

  1. There’s a company in England who makes the bread beer too, called ‘Toast’… I smiled at the name ‘Toost’… I learned a new Dutch word today!! 😀

    It’s an interesting idea turning bread into beer, and not a new idea… something that was made many years ago… nobody wasted much 100 years ago! Recycling wasn’t even called recycling… but shame on you if you didn’t participate!! Reading more about the bread beer… it seems the brewers only use the crusts of the loaf… two slices each end per loaf, the rest is thrown away. It’s a small saving on waste, but you do wonder…. why can’t they use the whole loaf? I guess the rest is thrown away as it would have been. Someone’s got to find a better way than that. Doesn’t appear to be much of a saving of waste bread.

    Liked by 1 person

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