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Innovative products shine at circular economy fair

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A pair of boots made with recycled coffee grounds.

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) A week-long trade fair showcasing innovative products made from used materials opened in Taipei on Tuesday, promoting the circular economy amid global challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity and waste disposal.

Around 70 business exhibited products made of recycled materials at the "Circular-Cross, Future All Together" fair sponsored by the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.

One of the eye-catching products displayed was shoes made out of coffee grounds from Ccilu International Inc.

The world consumes about 1 trillion cups of coffee per year, but how to make use of the used coffee grounds is a problem that Ccilu President and CEO Wilson Hsu pondered for some time.

"It took me four or five years to work out how to turn recycled coffee grounds into shoes. After lengthy research and development, we finally brought out the particular shoes bearing our own brand," Hsu told CNA.

Most of the materials used to produce the shoes, including the uppers, insole and outsole, are made of used coffee grounds, accounting for 40-60 percent of the overall materials, Hsu explained.

Giving an explanation, he said it takes two medium cups of coffee to make a pair of flip-flops, five to manufacture a pair of walking shoes and 15 for a pair of rain boots.

With the "circular economy" movement spreading across the globe, the coffee grounds shoes, having secured more than 10 international patents and been sold in over 40 countries, including in Europe, the United States and Asia, he noted.

Meanwhile, charcoal made from the husks of water caltrops grown in Tainan's Guantian District, which was presented by FanC Recycling International, also drew the attention of many visitors.

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