Cutlery from the (coffee) ground

Sustainable Australian start-up Little Green Panda is redefining the way we create disposable packaging by repurposing waste into sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic straws and cutlery.

The Melbourne startup has launched the world’s first coffee cutlery range made from home compostable materials such as upcycled coffee grounds.

Little Green Panda’s cutlery is said to be tree-friendly, super strong, and designed to disappear as they are fully biodegradable and 100% plastic-free.

Knowing the devastating effects single-use plastic has on the planet, Little Green Panda Managing Director Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu decided to look for new ways to challenge the status quo.

“The majority of coffee grounds goes directly to landfill, where it contributes significantly to climate change through the production of methane – a greenhouse gas 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” she says.

“By using upcycled coffee grounds we can divert this waste from landfills and simultaneously provide a sustainable alternative to bioplastic and wood cutlery which are currently the only “eco-friendly” options on the market right now.”

Little Green Panda was born out of the need to “solve the single-use epidemic” and gained further traction when the ban on single-use plastics came into effect. However, when Covid-19 hit, the use of single-use plastics started to increase again.

To date, Little Green Panda is said to have supplied products to over 1000 venues both locally and worldwide, replacing over 8 million straws and increasing every day.

Ms Beauchamp-Tardieu and her team have big plans for Little Green Panda.

“We started off with drinking straws, but that is only the beginning. We’re currently doing some R&D in the bioplastics area and are looking at developing more innovative products to replace single-use packaging.”

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