Circularity Tales: tackling the waste problem in coffee industries

KAFEA.ECO, a company committed to revolutionising the coffee industry with a focus on addressing the environmental impact of waste materials, particularly coffee capsules, is at the forefront of circular economy practices. With a circular mindset from inception, the company aims to implement its system nationwide and beyond, emphasising the importance of circular thinking in business practices. 

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At Impact Hub, we believe in the power of circularity to create a more sustainable present and future. That’s why we are on a path to mainstream circular principles across our network’s business support initiatives. 


As part of that commitment, we are running a pilot programme across different Impact Hubs around the globe dedicated to boosting impact venture’s capacities to implement circular principles in their own operations and mission. 


In an interview with Impact Hub, Adriana Uribesalgo, the Project Manager of KAFEA.ECO,

shared insights into the company’s mission, experiences with circularity practices, and the vision for a more sustainable future. KAFEA.ECO is on a mission to revolutionise the coffee industry by addressing the environmental impact of waste materials, particularly coffee capsules, through a comprehensive approach grounded in the principles of the circular economy.

When asked to encapsulate the essence of circularity, Adriana eloquently defined it as “making materials and processes flow without being or generating wastes.” This concise yet powerful definition captures the essence of KAFEA.ECO’s commitment to creating a closed-loop system that transforms waste into valuable resources.


Having participated in the Impact Hub Donostia pilot programme dedicated to embedding circularity practices into businesses, Adriana emphasised that KAFEA.ECO’s project was conceived with a circular mindset from the start. However, the programme provided a platform to refine and enhance their approaches. Notably, the modules on communication and storytelling were particularly beneficial, addressing the challenge of effectively conveying the complexities of circular economy practices.


Reflecting on the journey, Adriana offered valuable advice to ventures aspiring to embrace circularity. She emphasised the importance of understanding how to create a system where materials flow seamlessly throughout the entire process, converting waste into a valuable resource. This recommendation stems from KAFEA.ECO’s experience as an industrial company committed to sustainable practices.

Looking ahead, KAFEA.ECO has ambitious plans. The immediate goal is to implement their system nationwide, extending their circular proposition to all Spanish municipalities. Beyond that, they envision expanding regionally and introducing the capsule recycling system to the entire European Union. The vision is clear – to scale up and make a substantial impact on a broader scale.


In her final words, Adriana underscored the imperative of a circular system in a world with finite resources. She emphasised that embracing circularity allows humanity to be in harmony with nature, transforming waste from a problem into a business opportunity. She calls for responsibility and a shift in mindset, turning environmental challenges into green, innovative, and competitive employment opportunities.


KAFEA.ECO’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of circular thinking in addressing environmental challenges within industries. As they continue to expand their reach and impact, the company stands as a beacon for others aspiring to integrate circularity into their business models, illustrating that sustainability can be both a responsibility and a source of innovation.

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