We have a serious coffee habit in this country but one thing we may not think about when we’re having the first cup of the day is how much waste we’re generating; in fact over 300 million single-use coffee bags are discarded in the UK each year. Jeremy Knight wanted to do something about that and deliver coffee with as little impact on the environment as possible, so he launched Ernie. Based on the milk round model, Ernie delivers fully traceable ethical coffee to zones 1 and 2, via a restored 1960s milk float, with zero waste and zero emissions, saving over 15,000 coffee bags and 3000 boxes going in the bin and over 2 tonnes of carbon emissions going into the air.
The coffee is roasted and packed in Elephant & Castle (the roastery is powered by 100% carbon neutral electricity and gas) in reusable containers that are collected once empty, washed and refilled for the next lot of deliveries. The containers are made of plastic as its the best way to keep the coffee fresh but they’re all recyclable and if any get damaged they’re used to make boxes for the cargo bikes. Yes Ernie the electric milk float is the OG of the operation but the team has expanded their delivery fleet with pedal-powered cargo bikes Beryl, Betty and Ron to get more coffee to more Londoners.
To keep the process as efficient as possible there’s a minimum order of 1kg of coffee and for every 12kg that gets ordered, Ernie plants a tree. You can see how many trees your coffee habit has been responsible for as well as tracking your individual waste and carbon emissions savings via the website, so the more you drink, the more good you do.