Startup Wants to Replace Palm Oil with Coffee Grounds

Photo: Revive Eco

Revive Eco was founded by two Scottish baristas who were upset by the mountains of coffee grounds they witnessed being tossed into landfills. Founders Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore decided to turn that trash into treasure and formed Revive Eco, which extracts and purifies oils from used coffee grounds. The resulting product can be used in a variety of commercial applications, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, and household items.

Revive Eco Co-founders Scott Kennedy (left) and Fergus Moore.

In addition to diverting thousands of pounds of coffee from ending up in landfills, the venture could have a major impact on reducing rainforest deforestation. Palm oil, which is the most widely used vegetable oil on the planet, is a major factor in deforestation around the globe. In some regions of Indonesia and Malaysia, palm farming has been responsible for 50% of deforestation.

Kennedy and Moore have secured £235,000 ($303,900) in funding from the Zero Waste Scotland agency and are aiming for more. Revive Eco has been selected to represent Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Chivas Venture competition, where they’ll be competing for a portion of the £776,000 ($1,003,523) in prize money. The founders hope to use their winnings to open a processing plant in Glasgow and eventually franchise into different countries around the world.