Category Archives: case studies

Independent Bristol cafe composts its Vegware disposables

New case study! Independent Bristol café Spoke and Stringer has switched to Vegware and joined Close the Loop.

Close the Loop is Vegware’s own composting collection service, running in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the surrounding region. It collects used Vegware and food scraps from Vegware clients, which are then taken to a local composting facility at Rose Hill, Gloucestershire. Used Vegware is turned into nutrient-rich compost for local farmers’ fields.

Spoke and Stringer is conscious about the environment and does whatever possible to reduce waste. “That’s why we’ve chosen Vegware where we can close the loop on all our packaging,” says Emma Linzel, the Operations Manager at Spoke and Stringer.

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New film! Contract caterer Elior share why they chose Vegware

To contract caterer Elior sustainability is immensely important. They have a big responsibility to ensure their sites can operate in the most sustainable way possible. In this new film, Elior share their reasons for choosing Vegware catering disposables:

Responsible catering disposables

Elior’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Charlotte Wright, says that, “Vegware gives us the option to have disposables in our business, without the concern of the damage on the environment as the result of the production of plastics.”

Minimising waste

Vegware’s products offer portion control for both the end-user and the kitchen staff, helping to minimise food waste. Andy Ferguson, Elior’s Contract Director, says “Switching to the Vegware cup enabled their client to take 1 million plastic lined cups out of the waste chain.”

Quality product

The Elior team are impressed by the range and quality of Vegware products. “It enhances the food that goes into it,” shares Steven Wells, General Manager, Elior.

Elior use Vegware’s Green Tree collection to highlight their commitment to sustainability. For samples, please contact us here.

Serving sustainable scoops at The Ice Box

The Ice Box has been a Brooklyn, Connecticut, USA, institution for over 40 years. The ice cream parlor opened in 1978 in a renovated gas station, where it’s still located to this day. They use Vegware as part of their sustainability plan – read the full story here.

Loaded milkshakes at The Ice Box, Connecticut

Local resident Jenn Nemeth landed her first job at The Ice Box in 1998. In 2018, 20 years after joining the team, Jenn went from employee to owner, purchasing The Ice Box and making her own sweet sustainable switch to its operations. One of her first business decisions, was to use Vegware.

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Gone with the Windrow: an independent cinema inspires a cup composting solution

Wells Film Centre is a three-screen independent cinema in Somerset, the South West of England. Serving refreshments is an enjoyable part of the customer experience, as well as a vital income stream for the cinema. Wells Film Centre has been serving hot and cold drinks using Vegware’s compostable cups and lids since May 2018 – read the full story here.

Cinema owner Sally Cooper was determined to compost the drinks waste. She was disappointed to hear from Vegware’s Environmental team that, as yet, there were no regular collections covering her area.

Vegware’s Green Britain double wall cups

Composting Vegware cups with garden waste

Until now, all UK catering waste had to go to one of two processes: in-vessel composting (IVC) or anaerobic digestion (AD). There are around 50 in-vessel composting (IVC) facilities, over a third of which accept used Vegware.

Happily, for Wells Film Centre and many businesses only serving drinks, not food, Vegware was working behind the scenes on a project which would open dialogue with 150+ extra composting sites, including one in Sally’s area. In July 2018, we gained official approval for the UK’s open windrow facilities to consider processing certified compostable hot and cold cups and cup lids.

Continue reading Gone with the Windrow: an independent cinema inspires a cup composting solution

New case study! Passionate café champions composting collections in Bristol, UK

Café Matariki is a small and passionate Bristol business producing delicious dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. It’s also passionate about the environment and wants to limit its impact on the world.

The café has always used compostable plant-based packaging, and subscribed to Vegware’s Close the Loop composting collection service when it launched in the region in 2018.

As the next phase in its sustainable approach, the café has joined the Composting Collective, a bring-back scheme to capture Vegware takeaways packaging for composting.

The Composting Collective, “shows the community of Bristol working together to support one another and reduce our waste,” says Janice Heskett, Café Manager.

Read more about Café Matariki’s sustainable approach here.

Landmark event composts in Cardiff

For more than four decades, the Volvo Ocean Race has tested teamwork to the limit, and provided a human adventure like no other. The 2017-18 edition proved no different. Teams crossed four oceans and travelled 45,000 nautical miles around the world, touching six continents and 12 landmark Host Cities.

This included Cardiff – Wales’ sporting capital, and now, a historical sustainable stopover for the world-renowned event.

Vegware packaging at the Cardiff Race Village

There is heightened awareness around the limitations of plastic recycling and the growing problem of plastic pollution at a global level. The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race brought sustainability to the forefront, mandating a plastic-free environment across all Host Cities.

Cardiff Harbour Authority and the City of Cardiff Council embraced this sustainable mission for the Cardiff Race Village. The team immediately researched all the aspects of hosting a plastic-free event. The added challenge? A 14-day stopover, open to the public, with 180,000 attendees.

The Solution: Vegware’s fibre-based products and beyond packaging environmental support. We made education a top priority,  training the event team and working with them to inform the attendees.

Read more about the sustainable solution and result, hearing from Cardiff Harbour Authority’s Environmental Officer and Volvo Ocean Race’s Sustainability Programme Manager.

Composting Vegware disposables at the University of the West of England

A longtime client, the University of the West of England has been using our plant-based food service packaging as part of its Sustainability Plan for many years.

This year (2018), with our expansion into Bristol for Vegware’s Close the Loop composting collection service, the University is now turning its catering ‘waste’ into quality compost for Gloucestershire farmers.

Vegware catering disposables are commercially compostable with food waste. That means there’s no need for sorting, and the used compostable packaging – from cups and straws to takeaway boxes and cutlery – can all go together without removing the ketchup and leftover chips. An added bonus is that once food and disposables share one bin, other dry recycling bins are cleaner and easier to recycle.

With 30,000 students and 3,000 staff, closing the loop is making a difference to the University’s environmental footprint, while contributing to the circular economy.

The University’s Sustainable Projects Officer shares his thoughts here on implementing the new waste stream onto the site.

Vegware case study: Platform at Argyle Street Arches

Street food market solidifies sustainability by composting catering disposables

Argyle Street Arches is a historic venue in the atmospheric arches below Glasgow Central railway station. In 2018, the iconic site reopened to be given a new lease of life, and with it, a view to become the city’s greenest venue.

This includes offering Glaswegians a fiercely independent alternative to generic, mass produced foods by way of a new street food market: Platform at Argyle Street Arches. The indoor market brings together some of Scotland’s best independent street food traders every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with food available to sit-in or to-go.

From the outset, Platform’s mission has been to offer produce that is locally and sustainably sourced, seasonal, free range, and free trade. To complement this, they sought eco-friendly food and drink packaging, knowing that food contamination is a barrier to recycling conventional plastic single-use containers.

Keen to ensure the best waste solution for their catering disposables, Platform contacted Edinburgh-based Vegware.

Click here to read more and see the 5 steps Platform and Vegware took to create a sustainable street food market.

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.

On-site composting at Dundee and Angus College

For Dundee and Angus College in Scotland, on-site composting provided an ideal solution for them to take control of their food waste, reducing packaging in canteens, and move away from plastics in food service. 

The first thing the College needed was a packaging supplier that could offer a sustainable, compostable solution to aid their on-site composting ambitions.

Why Vegware?

Vegware’s packaging is made from plants, not plastic, and designed to be composted with food waste.  

On choosing Vegware as a sustainable packing supplier, Jackie Beresford at Dundee and Angus College commented:

The quality of the product along with the very good customer service is the reason why we use Vegware and continue to do so.”

Because Vegware’s products are compostable, they can be combined with food waste and processed in Dundee and Angus College’s own composter.

With help from food waste experts, Tidy Planet, the college operates an on-site composter called The Rocket Composter. The Rocket speeds up composting by providing it with a perfect environment in which to thrive; moisture, heat and air is all controlled. 

Dundee and Angus College

How it works

Vegware worked with Dundee and Angus College to create bespoke bin signage in the canteens to reduce contamination. All compostable packaging and food waste goes into one bin – there’s no need to clean, sort or separate any of it.

Food waste and Vegware is gathered, shredded and de-watered together in a macerator. From here on it is combined with other green waste and woodchips inside The Rocket composter. In as little as 14 days the gardeners at Dundee and Angus College have access to a high-quality mulch they can use on the College garden.

Dundee and Angus College

Savings in carbon and cost

The process saves money and carbon, and is easy to manage. It’s a great circular approach that takes place on the same site from start to finish. Coffee cups, coffee grinds and food waste can realistically be handled by the gardeners as a mulch on the ground in 14 days’ time. The system has a 20-year life span, but equipment of this scale can often pay for itself in less than five years. 

Collecting waste and sending it to landfill, a recycling plant or a composting facility can take several trips based on how much waste a business accumulates. By composting on-site, Dundee and Angus College saves both money and carbon. Hugh Crampton from Tidy Planet explains:

“By doing something like this, instantly you’ve reduced two or three vehicles movements per week for the collection of those wastes. If you add that mileage up for a collection vehicle for 20 years and that’s a whole lot of carbon emissions you’ve just avoided.”

Dundee and Angus College

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss on-site composting systems.