Pioneering a compostable future – join us on the journey

Yes, compostable packaging is being composted, but more can be done to ensure commercial composting is UK-wide. Vegware is helping to drive this change.

  • It’s not just about cups – compostables can Close the Loop for all foodservice waste
  • Vegware is working actively to increase UK access to commercial composting
  • Our Close the Loop composting collections are already in Scotland, and expanding to other UK regions soon

2018 has seen a huge shift in public attitudes towards plastic. At Vegware, there has been a surge in requests for our plastic-free catering disposables made from plant-based materials. Our products are also compostable, meaning Vegware’s entire range can biodegrade in under 12 weeks in commercial composting facilities.

Vegware hears growing demands for composting and recycling within the UK and worldwide. We understand people’s concerns at the lack of access to a composting infrastructure and not having UK-wide legislation supporting separate collections of food waste and green waste. As the global specialist in plant-based compostable foodservice packaging, we take this issue seriously.

There are industrial composting facilities all around the UK which accept used Vegware, as well as some suitable anaerobic digestion facilities. The challenge is that there are not always collection routes available to businesses. We have been working actively to change this, partnering with a variety of waste collectors who take used Vegware and food waste to industrial composting, resulting in zero waste regions around the UK.

Determined to create end-of-life solutions for our products, Vegware has also become a waste broker to offer our own collections. In summer 2017, we launched Close the Loop in Scotland. As of March 2018, Vegware has taken 25 tonnes of used Vegware and food waste to commercial composting, creating high-quality compost that feeds Scottish fields.

This initiative is a great success and our Environmental team are working to introduce Close the Loop to other UK regions this year. There are still UK regions though that do not yet have access to industrial composting. But the more major foodservice businesses choose compostables, the quicker we can make composting collections a reality in more area.

Other composting solutions include on-site composting, such as this example done with Tidy Planet for a UK-based college.

Success not only depends on having the right bins in place, but also having them used correctly. When our recycling experts set up composting schemes, a key part of the switchover is education and behaviour change, creating clear bin signage and training everyone involved – from customers to catering managers and waste operatives. The last we want is to send contaminated waste to composting facilities; education is important and a top priority for Vegware.

Reusable cups are another solution for takeaway drinks. Although it adds more responsibility upon the consumer to wash and carry their travel mugs, Vegware supports any option that helps reduce waste. But even with a major shift to reusable cups, some disposables will always be needed. Whilst cups are the current focus, the same environmental challenges apply to all catering disposables, which is why we offer a full range of tableware and takeaway containers.

By choosing compostables, foodservice businesses can actively drive change in UK recycling. The more compostables there are in use, the more we can work with the waste sector to extend collections UK-wide.

In conclusion, at present, Vegware works best in closed foodservice environments such as contract caterers operating cafés and restaurants in universities, office buildings or zoos, or even at events and festivals. This allows the waste to be captured within the site’s bins, and we can then help our clients be sure their food waste and Vegware goes to the right place.

Vegware is committed to having complete transparency in the end-of-life cycle for its products. We are dedicated to helping our customers have a waste stream in place to ensure Vegware goes to commercial composting facilities. Read more here in our composting FAQ.

Press, for more information, please contact the Vegware Communications team at comms@vegware.co.uk.

To learn more about your composting and recycling options, contact the Vegware Environmental team at environmental@vegware.co.uk.