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Waste coffee grounds add flavor to fabric

Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 02:27

July 18 - A Taiwanese textile company is using waste coffee grounds to make an environmentally friendly fabric that dries fast and controls odors. Tara Cleary reports.

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Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. And all that consumption leaves tons of used coffee grounds. Taiwan alone produces an estimated 30 tons of coffee ground waste every day. But one company in New Taipei City is putting those discarded grounds to use. Singtex Technical Fabric is making material which comprises two percent coffee ground nano-particles. Why? Because the grounds are known to eliminate unwanted odours and the company's new fabric, called Ice-Café, is no different. General Manager at Singtex, Jason Chen, says that's not all the material does. SOUNDBITE: GENERAL MANAGER OF SINGTEX TECHNICAL FABRIC, JASON CHEN, SAYING: "Its most important functions are -- one, it absorbs water and dries fast; two, it has a deodorizing function, or the odor control function; three, it blocks harmful ultraviolet rays; and four, it reduces harm to the environment. These are the four major functions. It can be applied to different outdoor sports, indoor renovations, and other areas of home living." Chan got the idea from his wife, who noticed people collecting coffee waste from shops to use as odour neutralizers in their homes. SOUNDBITE: GENERAL MANAGER OF SINGTEX TECHNICAL FABRIC, JASON CHEN, SAYING: "I discovered the use of coffee grounds because it is something we encounter in our daily lives when we drink coffee. But I learned of its deodorizing properties and decided it would be a pity to waste that. After my wife told me about it, I gathered our group of researchers to start with this creative project inspired by our daily lives. With continued effort, we succeeded in using the idea in our area of expertise, which is textiles." Chen has invested almost two million U.S. dollars to develop the material. And it seems to be paying off. Major clothing brands like Timberland and New Balance are already using the fabric. Chen hopes others will wake up and smell the coffee. Tara Cleary, Reuters.

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Waste coffee grounds add flavor to fabric

Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 02:27