“Sustainability” has become somewhat of a buzzword, recently. While many may not grasp precisely what it entails, it is quite a simple concept: caring well for the planet and its resources, now, so future generations may also be granted the opportunity to enjoy it. Sustainability is, of course, the cornerstone of our Simbithi strategy. Imagine our intrigue and excitement at partnering with two residents whose business practices sustainability…with coffee?

“Well, it’s a peculiar, two-part story, really,” Nic van Rensburg muses, when asked to share the origins of BTG Recycling. “One of necessity and discovery.”

It was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the idea first began tickling his brain. “I was stuck at home, as was most of the world. My wife, Candice, was overseas, so there was not much to do.” Nic adds that he could not buy much, either, at the time. “I’ve always been interested in fire,” he shares. “That, and a good cup of coffee. Lockdown gave me some time to think about bringing those two passions together.”

Nic began toying with the pods from his Nespresso machine and soon found research on recycling the coffee granules. “The research showed me that this practice is not necessarily new, but that there was a gap in the South African market for this type of business. It started as a passion project, but it’s developed into a viable coffee recycling solution.”

And, so, the Biotech Industries Group was born.

The group now incorporates a range of sustainable products including a BioBlend fertiliser, recycled coffee logs, charffee fire pellets and recycled coffee briquettes. Each one is uniquely beneficial to people and planet, says Nic. “Coffee beans are generally disposed of without much thought. Our company offers a renewable alternative.”

By turning waste away from landfills, and extending the life use of the coffee bean, BTIG remains ahead of the curve. “It’s sustainable, has longevity and is considerably less harmful for the environment. Our existing products are doing well, and we’re looking at branching into the cosmetic sector with coffee-based scrubs and exfoliators; the industry is quite versatile.”

Part of the BTIG model is to partner with likeminded businesses and entities. Hence, the group’s recent partnership with Simbithi Eco-Estate. “We’ve been collecting waste at the Club for a period, and we have now extended this to the entire Estate. For us, it’s about linking with those who share our ethos and vision and speak our language.”

As the partnership unfolds, BTIG will place bins at strategic points on the Estate where recyclable waste may be dropped off. It will then be collected, and taken to BTIG for recycling.

For Nic and Candice, Simbithi is a haven. “We’ve been here since 2011, so we’ve really seen the Estate grow and mature. The nature is something to behold, and reminds us why we’re so passionate about caring for the environment.”