BAGO COFFEE TABLE
What if instead of dumping it in the landfill, used ground coffee could be recycled into something useful? Bago is a side table created with a hybrid material made of used ground coffee, bio-based epoxy and used nylon webbing.
Create a product using waste material and develop a local production system for it. The product should resolve a sustainability challenge that may or may not be related to the waste material.
Design Research, Rapid Prototyping, Mold Making, Concept Development, Sketching, Infographics, Visual Presentation, Vector Graphics, Photography
Illustrator, Photoshop, Solidworks, Plastic Fabrication
Material Exploration, Systems Design, Product Design
To validate my assumptions and find out whether the problem was a real one that needed solving, I conducted research on coffee consumption and the subsequent waste it produces. I then summarized my research using infographics.
According to the International Coffee Organization 2017 report, Canada is the 10th biggest consumer of coffee in the world. Each year, we grind our way through 234 million kilograms of ground coffee. That’s more than 7 kilograms for each Canadian or 3.2 cups of coffee a day. Our coffee addiction produces nearly 600 tones of ground coffee waste per day. In a year, we generate enough coffee ground waste to fill 88 Olympic-size swimming pools!
Decomposing ground coffee releases methane. This greenhouse gas is known to be 25 times worse for climate change than carbon monoxide. If we reduce our ground coffee waste, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change.
The most coffee recycling methods involve either keeping the waste material in its original form and using it as fertilizer, deodorizer or seasoning; or changing its molecular composition and turn it into completely new material.
For my project, I wanted to turn used coffee grounds into a strong building material. To do this, I started with changing its form by turning ground coffee into a solid material similar to a plastic sheet or wood.
I experimented with different kinds of adhesives. First, I used different ratios of kitchen items like cornstarch and vegetable oil to make compostable adhesive to bind the ground coffee into a solid form. Second, I tried epoxy resin which created the consistency and density that I wanted.
Once I found the right adhesive and the appropriate adhesive to the coffee grounds ratio, I started the fabrication process. I created a mold for the coffee-resin mixture.
Make the individual parts by mixing the used ground coffee with resin & used nylon fabric.
Pour mixture into the mold and allow the resin to cure overnight.
Remove the piece from the mold. Put all the pieces together. Repeat the same process for the rest of the part and assemble the table.
I used the stakeholders' map to demonstrate how the project can generate economic and social value. Additionally, the map identified the people and organizations that would be involved with or impacted by this recycling project and the potential risks and obstacles.