Conestoga news

May 15, 2024 10:52 AM

Bloom adopts compostable coffee cups in its ongoing sustainability effort

Conestoga’s Bloom restaurant bolstered its sustainability efforts by adopting biodegradable coffee cups.

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Bloom restaurant at the Waterloo campus has adopted compostable and biodegradable to-go cups.

The student-run restaurant at the Waterloo campus recently began using beverage cups made by SOFi, which produces sustainable packaging that is completely biodegradable and compostable.

“Finding a beverage cup that is truly compostable has been very hard for the industry because of the plastic lids. SOFi cups are both compostable and biodegradable, having a unique folding system that creates a hole for sipping,easy to use and stylish,” said Keith Müller, executive dean of the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts and Institute for Food Processing Technology.

Of course, reusable is always best and the first choice for Bloom, which welcomes customers who bring a reusable coffee cup to its grab-and-go counter. But they wanted to be able to offer a greener option for those patrons popping in for a coffee.

Packaging researchers at the Conestoga Food Research & Innovation Lab (CFRIL) looked into available sustainable options and provided four different cups for the Bloom team to try out. SOFi was chosen for its unique folding design and biodegradable material that does not use plastics or bioplastics.

The lab was eager to assist Bloom in its efforts to limit waste at the restaurant, including a focus on packaging, said Carol Zweep, packaging research lead.

“CFRIL is inspired by the ongoing efforts of Bloom toward sustainability. The hot cup from SOFi was sourced as part of ongoing efforts to eliminate single-use packaging. The unique design is an all-in-one lid and cup that is spill-proof, plastic free and compostable. We are proud to support Bloom's efforts and provide technical support on sustainable options.”

Bloom is committed to sustainability and reducing waste, and its initiatives are gaining industry attention.

The student-run restaurant is the cover story of the May issue of Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, celebrating winning this year’s Green Leadership Award from Kostuch Media. The article, titled Leading for the Future, explains how Bloom is tackling food waste one challenge at a time, including being Canada’s first restaurant to display icons on the menu indicating the greenhouse-gas emissions for each dish.

Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is a leader in culinary and hospitality programming that prepares students for successful careers in Canada’s dynamic tourism industry. Students learn from faculty members with extensive industry experience as they develop practical knowledge and theoretical skills.