We’ve moved office!

On Friday the 19th of January, we move to our new offices. We outgrew our old office overlooking the Union Canal, and can’t wait to welcome visitors to our new bigger shinier home in the centre of Edinburgh.

Our phone number stays 0330 223 0400, and our new HQ address is 39 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7JF.

Here we are on Google maps. Pop in to visit, or send us a postcard!

Vegware compostable packaging eco range

We’ve been shortlisted for an Edinburgh Chamber Business Award!

We were delighted to hear that Vegware has been named as one of the finalists at this year’s Edinburgh Chamber Business Awards.

The awards recognise some of the great work that businesses in Edinburgh have achieved in the last year. We’re up for the Responsible Business Award for our Close the Loop collection service, a waste collection service offering Vegware packaging and food waste collection to customers across Scotland’s Central Belt.

Last year, we won Supplier of the Year at the Food Made Good Awards for our Close the Loop solution. Close the Loop also received a Parliamentary Motion in the Scottish Parliament in the same month.

The awards are taking place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Thursday 8th of February. Wish us luck!

Leithers Don’t Litter

As we start 2018, we like to reflect on our favourite moments of 2017. At Vegware we enjoy supporting important environmental issues, and that includes littering. Throughout 2018 we’re planning a number of anti-litter initiatives and campaigns, so here’s some inspiration from our home city of Edinburgh.

Leithers Don’t Litter are a group who love their local area, Leith, and hate seeing litter. They organise regular clean ups and collaborate with a number of organisations to help make Leith a litter free zone.

Litter pickers deserve a warm pick-me-up, and last year, our Community Fund donated coffee cups to Leithers Don’t Litter for their Earth Day clean up.

On Earth Day, around 60 people came along and collected 70 bags of rubbish. On Edinburgh’s Marine Esplanade they collected a staggering 4-5 tonnes of rubbish!

We have been really enthused by the proactive community work led by Leithers Don’t Litter. We’ll be looking out for their events starting in March 2018, as well as running our own litter pick as part of Keep Britain Tidy. Watch this space!

‘Latte levy’ report is well intentioned, but industry proposals and initiatives will be more effective at tackling recycling.

  • Vegware welcomes the much-needed focus on recycling, but instead of charging consumers, Vegware supports reforms to have industry pay for recycling
  • State-of-the art cup recycling can be complemented through the use of compostable foodservice packaging; compostables can Close the Loop for all foodservice waste
  • Packaging company Vegware to expand Close the Loop composting collections

Vegware wholeheartedly supports any initiative that boosts recycling. The public and businesses are all eager for a solution. The UK Environmental Audit Committee has recommended a 25p ‘latte levy’ on any disposable coffee cup. Whilst the report raises many valid points about the challenges we face, we do not see a ‘latte levy’ as the most effective way forward. Vegware support’s the Foodservice Packaging Association’s response, ‘Why charge consumers 25 pence a cup when industry is willing to provide funding for recycling’. In addition, Vegware would like to highlight the opportunity that compostable packaging brings to recycling of all foodservice waste, not only cups.

In 2017 there were great strides in recycling used coffee cups by major chains and independents alike. Food contamination is cited in the report as a major issue. To complement cup and other dry recycling, industrial composting is a form of recycling with a major role to play here. If all disposables are compostable, all foodservice waste – the cup, lid, spoon and sandwich wedge, leftover crusts and mayo – can be composted together, and food contamination is no longer an issue.

Vegware takes its producer responsibility seriously, and offers expert environmental support to help foodservice clients recycle used Vegware and food waste. Launched initially in Scotland in 2017, Vegware’s Close the Loop service collects used compostables and food waste from Vegware clients, taking it for commercial composting. Now that we have a successful model to roll out, Vegware will be announcing good news in other areas of the UK in 2018.

To see a true shift in foodservice recycling and litter reduction, Vegware believes a comprehensive raft of improvements are needed to recycling systems and major public awareness campaigns. We welcome ambitious plans and are keen to drive innovation and collaboration in the packaging and recycling sectors.

Vegware 2017 highlights

2017 was a massive year for Vegware. We launched our very own collection service, opened a new international office and put a few new products to market. To everyone that has supported Vegware this year, we’d like to thank you for your continued backing and we hope you have a great festive period. Here’s a recap of a couple of our 2017 highlights:

US launch

Possibly our biggest venture of 2017 was the decision to open an office in Huntington Beach, California. Situated on the beachfront, the Californian weather has been a welcome culture change for our British team members who moved over to Surf City. Vegware Packaging Limited started trading at the end of June and our team there has grown from strength to strength. We’re looking forward to seeing what 2018 has to offer.

Close the Loop

 

In September, we launched our Close the Loop collection service in Scotland. The aim of it is to make recycling used Vegware simple. This service is available to Vegware customers in the Central Belt and operates as a simple bin swap: full bins of used takeaway packaging and food waste are collected for composting and clean ones left in their place. Vegware and food waste is taken to a facility near Glasgow where it’s turned into high-grade compost in a matter of weeks.

Due to the success of our Scottish route we’ve already started planning new Close the Loop routes in other parts of the UK for 2018. Watch this space!

Blog highlights

Over 2017 we blogged on a variety of hot topics at the time. We ate a lot of delicious lunches in our quest for the best Sustainable Vegetarian Sandwich in Edinburgh.

Food, not comedy, was on the menu at the Edinburgh Fringe as we sampled the best of the fest in snacks.

Our team at head office took on the challenge to go plastic free over the summer and shared their tips for a Plastic Free July.

Plastic Free July

New films

This year we made a variety of different films and animations. We kicked off the year with an animation concentrating on what we do and how to reduce waste. Later in the year we went to Dundee & Angus College to have a look at their on-site composting. Alongside Tidy planet we were able to see how they turn their food waste and Vegware packaging into high-grade compost.

Our second animation of the year concentrated on the launch of our Close the Loop collection service. Highlighting how it will work and its environmental benefits. Later in the year we helped the 2017 Edinburgh Coffee Festival become the UK’s first compostable coffee festival through Close the Loop. 

Product launches

This year we launched a number of innovative new compostable products. Here’s a selection:

Sandwich sofa

 

Our new cosy sandwich sofa is perfect for traditionally square cut sandwiches. Offering clear visibility as well as a compostable solution to sandwich packaging.

5” burger box

 burger box

Made from sugarcane-based bagasse, this burger box doesn’t trap condensation like plastic. Food stays hot and crispy. Perfect for kids’ meals, budget burgers and side dishes.

Bakery and grill greaseproof

 

Made from sustainably sourced, chlorine free paper. Oven and microwave safe up to 220°C.

6oz kraft hot cup

 

Made from sustainably sourced board with a plant-based lining. Great for flat whites and long black coffees.

Close the Loop in Footprint’s waste2zero awards!

We were happy to hear this week that we were a runner up for Best Closed Loop Project Award at the Footprint waste2zero Awards. We were nominated for our Close the Loop collection service, a waste collection service offering Vegware packaging and food waste collection to customers across Scotland’s Central Belt.

Earlier in October we won Supplier of the Year at the Food Made Good Awards for our Close the Loop solution. Close the Loop also received a Parliamentary Motion in the Scottish Parliament in the same month.

Vegware Christmas opening hours

Our offices will be closed for Christmas from 23rd to 26th December and for New Year on 1st January.

For any UK orders needed before Christmas, all parcel orders must be placed before 3pm on 20th December and pallet orders by 1pm on 19th December.

There will be no UK pallet orders dispatched between Christmas and New Year. Parcel orders will be dispatched as normal from 27th December. Please note there will be no deliveries on 1st January in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or on 2nd January in Scotland

For European orders, we will be dispatching parcel orders via DHL right up until 22nd December, and between Christmas and New Year during office hours. The last European pallet dispatch will be Monday 18th December and there will be no international pallets dispatched between Christmas and New Year, with the first dispatch in 2018 on 5th January. If you need a delivery to arrive before a certain date, please get in touch to find out our courier’s lead times.

From everyone at Vegware we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes.

Festive winter warmers

At this time of year everyone loves a warm festive drink. Whether you’re tucked up at home on a cold, winter night or out enjoying the sights at a Christmas market, few can resist. We asked around our office to see what hot drinks our team enjoy most at this time of year. Here are some of the results!

Euan Stirling, communications executive

Hot toddy

1 ½ parts whisky

1/3 parts honey syrup

3 parts hot water

3 dried cloves

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

This festive classic is enjoyed best as a nightcap. It’s guaranteed to warm you up when it’s cold outside. The classic recipe combines whisky, honey syrup, hot water and cloves. Lemon juice is often added and the cloves removed before serving. It’s a favourite of Euan’s at Edinburgh’s famous Christmas market.

Alice Kettle, designer

Eggnog

3 cups whole milk

1 cup double cream

4 eggs, separated

2/3 cup granulated

3/4 cup Bacardi Rum, or bourbon

A firm office favourite, eggnog is another boozy holiday favourite. It combines milk, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan. Once that’s simmering, four eggs are then beat in a separate bowl and whisked into the milk. You can add either bourbon or rum to your drink to give it an extra little kick.

Xanthe Galanis-Hancox, communications manager 

Mulled cider

Traditional cider

6 cloves

1/4 nutmeg

1 orange

1 pomegranate

4-5 tablespoons caster sugar

Ever-present at winter markets across Europe and the UK, mulled cider is another popular festive choice. This combination of warm cider, spices, orange juice and sugar features prominently at Edinburgh’s famous Christmas market. Easy to make, cider is poured into a large pan on a low heat for a couple of minutes and then spices and juices are added. Whatever the reason, mulled cider is the ultimate holiday season comfort drink.

Mark Cox, multimedia executive

Mulled wine 

2 clementines

1 lemon

1 lime

200g caster sugar

6 cloves

Chianti or red wine

Another winter market classic, mulled wine is also a great drink to enjoy at Christmas parties and dinners. Combining both sweet and spicy flavours, mulled wine is the ideal festive hot drink. It’s easy to make too. Clementines, lemons and limes should be peeled and added to sugar in a saucepan.  Stir in enough red wine to cover the sugar and when the sugar has dissolved add in the rest of your wine.

Lucy Frankel, communications director

Hot white chocolate Russian

1 part Kahlúa

1 part whole milk

1/2 part vodka

Whipped cream & marshmallows for topping

White chocolate powder

If ‘The Dude’ from The Big Lebowski was to pick a hot favourite hot drink we’re sure he’d choose something like this. This hot drink has all the elements of a traditional White Russian. With Kahlúa, vodka, white chocolate powder and whole milk, the hot white chocolate Russian is a delicious warm treat worthy of the holiday season. Heated together in a saucepan and topped with whipped cream, it proves to be a deliciously, simple winter warmer.

Edinburgh Coffee Festival 2017 – The UK’s first compostable coffee festival

This year we teamed up with the 2017 Edinburgh Coffee Festival to help them deliver the UK’s first compostable coffee festival.

Our Close the Loop collection service enabled the festival to use only sustainable compostable coffee cups throughout the event. Close the Loop ensured these cups were collected alongside food waste for composting.

As well as hearing from the festival itself, we spoke to some of our customers to see why they value using Vegware products.

Here’s more on how we got on and why coffee cup recycling is so important.

We’re hiring! Accounts Assistant in Edinburgh

The role

The Accounts Assistant role will be based at our new Edinburgh office located on Melville Street. We are seeking an applicant for a busy and varied role who can work independently and be a key member of the Accounts Team.  Your role will be to assist in the day to day processing work of the Accounts Team and will include sales and purchase ledgers, credit control and cost analysis.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Preparation and processing of sales invoices.
  • Credit control including customer credit checks and collections.
  • Processing employee expenses and credit card expenditure.
  • Processing and reconciliation of petty cash expenditure.
  • Processing supplier invoices to the purchase ledger.
  • General office administration and filing.

The applicant

To be successful in the Accounts Assistant role you will be articulate and highly motivated with excellent interpersonal skills.  You can work independently and as part of a team in a logical, methodical and organised manner. You will have strong numerical skills and excellent attention to detail.

Previous experience as an Accounts Assistant or in an Accounts Team or general office administration would be advantageous. Knowledge of accounting software and a good working knowledge of Excel and Word would be desirable.

If you have the skills, passion, and commitment required for the Accounts Assistant role, and are interested in joining Vegware at our new office in the New Year then please follow this link to our S1 jobs ad.