Sustainability at Cartwheel
Written by Alex, CEO & Co-Founder
CARTWHEEL'S SUSTAINABILITY PROMISE
Here at Cartwheel, we are committed to making active changes to the way we work in order to ensure that our products and services are as sustainable as possible. Below is an insight into some of the progress we’ve already made:
In the Roastery, we have taken extra steps to limit our need for single-use packaging, always using sustainable materials where possible. However, to bring you the very freshest coffee, our bags have to contain plastic. Fully recyclable coffee bags are rare but we have put in a lot of work to get to this stage.
Our coffee bags are PE-LD and it’s not yet a case of chucking it in with the rest of the recycling for all people. Check on Local recycling | Recycle Now to see if your local council can recycle your bag or simply bring or send them back to Cartwheel and we’ll recycle it for you. Your local supermarket should also be able to help with this.
Lastly, during the roasting of our coffee beans, we separate the chaff from the beans as a waste by-product. Previously, we have turned this into solid fuel logs but found that this is ultimately not sustainable in the long run. Now, we send all our chaff and coffee grounds to local allotments in order to be used in compost.
You might have noticed our new menus and tasting cards (they’re everywhere, we’re quite proud of them), which are made from recycled coffee cups! We use Extract paper by GF Smith which transforms coffee cups, destined for landfill, into our beautiful menus. Quite an upgrade if you ask us. This is just one of the many ways in which we are reusing our waste! Oh, and our bottled drinks are only served in glass too, which is easily recycled.
Our kitchens are also careful to utilise all parts of the food that we use: the ends of our sourdough bread get made into treacle tart, potato peels are used in soup, leaves and stalks go into our garden pesto. At the end of the day, our remaining food goes onto Too Good to Go, an app which connects customers to restaurants and cafés with excess food surplus. We pride ourselves on having no food waste.
We also look after our outdoor plants! Water that is left by our customers is fed into our outdoor planters whenever possible.
At Cartwheel we are working to make our delivery to customers more sustainable, focusing on packaging and even our modes of transport. We are currently delivering our beans to local wholesale customers using reusable buckets to further reduce our single-use packaging. We have recently trialled an electric van for our deliveries and aspire to go electric by March 2022!
We have nearly cut out disposable cloths and plastic containers from our kitchen/cafés, opting for reusables that we are able to wash and reuse. The cheap convenience of disposable cloths and containers makes this is a bold move towards increased sustainability!
We also only use renewable sources of energy, with our current supplier based in Leicestershire – where our energy comes from a local solar and wind station. We are also happy to declare that our menu is seasonal to reflect the best of British vegetables (just not the avocados!).
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
At Cartwheel, we are always looking for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our sustainability efforts. We are trying to become involved in the collection and recycling chain, but it is difficult in a world where the infrastructure isn’t yet available to us! Another area that is difficult to overcome is our use of plastic milk bottles. We would love to be able to say that we’ve cut them out of our supply chain completely, but we are not quite there yet. Currently we go through nearly 90kg of plastic every year, or 26 wheelie bins full. So, if everyone could start drinking black coffee, that would be a great help!
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
It goes without saying that Cartwheel is certainly on the way to becoming a sustainable business, and we have made some great progress to ensure that we can continue to provide our experience in a sustainable way. We hope to continue on our current trajectory towards a more sustainable future, as we discover new methods to improve the ways we work. Please continue to watch this space…