Category Archives: food waste and recycling

Composting Collective – a collective solution for Vegware on the go

Vegware has launched the Composting Collective, a bring-back scheme to capture used takeaway Vegware for composting. The Composting Collective is a network of local cafes which accept Vegware packaging for composting.

More and more Vegware clients are composting disposables. Now, with our new Composting Collective, consumers can return their takeaway packaging to any bring-back bin for composting. Even if it was bought elsewhere.

Close the loop
Composting Collective window sticker

Consumers can spot sites by their Composting Collective window stickers and in-café posters. It’s a great way to encourage customers to visit other independent cafes – to return used Vegware, and to buy another coffee!

All Vegware packaging captured in the Composting Collective is sent for commercial composting. Under these ideal conditions, Vegware’s plant-based packaging breaks down in under 12 weeks, turning into quality compost – to return nutrients to UK soils and help new plants grow. All while supporting the UK’s circular economy.

To find a Composting Collective member, or to join in, see Composting Collective.

Bristol Vegware close the loop compost composting disposables single use plastic biodegradable collection waste recycling eco

Bristol launch party! Close the Loop & the Composting Collective

Hello Brizzle! Please join us on 8th November to celebrate the Bristol launch of Close the Loop, our composting collection. And the Composting Collective, a bring-back scheme for compostables on the go.

  • Learn how Bristol businesses can compost disposables
  • Q&A discussion on waste issues with other businesses
  • Hear how you can contribute to UK waste policy changes
  • Free event with tipples & veggie nibbles
  • Networking time

When: Thursday 8th November 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Content starts 5:40pm.

Where: Pacific Yoga, Ground Floor, The Brewhouse, Georges Square, Bath St, Bristol BS1 6LA

RSVP: All welcome, but spaces are limited, so register to guarantee your place.

Close the Loop – now in Bristol

Vegware is delighted to launch Close the Loop, its new Bristol composting collection service. This initiative will collect used Vegware takeaway packaging from Bristol businesses, for composting in under 12 weeks at Rose Hill Recycling, Gloucestershire.

Launched last year in Scotland, the award-winning Close the Loop composting collection is now available to businesses in Bristol, as well as Gloucester and Worcester. Bristol sites already using the collection service include UWE, the Wildscreen Festival, and Pacific Yoga.

Join us to celebrate, discuss waste issues affecting Bristol businesses, and hear about how you can give your input to forthcoming government waste policy.

The Composting Collective

This a new scheme launched responding to demand from Bristol’s independent cafés. Participating cafés display the Composting Collective window sticker inviting people to bring in used Vegware for their Close the Loop bin, even if it came from a different café. Collectively, Bristol cafés can then capture compostable disposables for composting. The scheme also aims to encourage people to visit independent cafés over large high-street chains.

Come along and ask all your waste questions. See you there!

vegware compost waste bpi fpi composting

New composting study shows value of compostable packaging as a feedstock

Results of a new six-phase study confirmed that compostable foodservice packaging can be effectively used as a feedstock in commercial composting facilities. The US-based testing showed that foodservice packaging performed as well as wood and other traditional feedstocks.

“Knowing that compostable foodservice packaging not only helps supply desirable food scraps to composters but can also reduce the amount of supplemental feedstocks composters must collect or source is a major benefit,” said Lynn Dyer, president of the US-based Foodservice Packaging.

“While the compostable packaging industry believed that these items had value to composting operations beyond diversion of food waste, there was little data to support this,” said Rhodes Yepsen, executive director of the Biodegradable Products Institute. “The goal of this study was to determine the impact a large volume of compostable foodservice items would have on the composting process, when compared to traditional compost inputs like yard trimmings, straw, wood shavings and grass.”

The Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) conducted full scale parallel operational field tests at two commercial composting facilities in two different US locations. The test sites used two of the most common composting methods in the US: aerated static pile (ASP) and open windrow (OAW).

It was funded by the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the Biodegradable Products Institute, to understand compostable packaging’s real-life impact on composting.

And something interesting for the composting geeks out there… Here the UK, since the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak, catering waste has to be treated at In-Vessel Composting (IVC) or Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities to pasteurise any pathogens in animal by-products such as meat or bones. But the US does not have the same Animal By-Product Regulations as the UK, which means that Vegware’s compostable disposables can be composted in the US using methods typical of UK garden waste composting.

BBIA bio-based biodegradable industries association compostable

Composting infrastructure webinar with Vegware, BBIA, REA ORG

Confused about composting? Keen to understand recycling infrastructure for compostable packaging?

Join a free webinar this Monday 24th September at 3pm UK time, to hear presentations from industry experts including technical experts from the trade association representing the composting facilities. Our Communications Director Lucy will be speaking about UK access to commercial composting. The webinar is hosted by the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA).

If you listen live, you can put your own questions to the panel. To listen back after the event, go to http://bbia.org.uk/webinars/ 

Organics recycling and infrastructure webinar

Speakers:
  • David Newman, Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association
  • Andy Sweetman, Futamura
  • Emily Nichols, REA’s Organics Recycling Group
  • Lucy Frankel, Vegware
  • Charlie Trousdell, REA’s Organics Recycling Group
The webinar will cover subjects such as:
  • recycling options for compostables in the UK
  • industry roadmap for compostable materials
  • the challenges with plastics recycling
  • contamination in recycling systems – plastics, bioplastics, and compost quality
  • the value of compost

Register for free here. You can also watch it later. We look forward to hearing your questions!

Vegware biodegradable compostable PLA CPLA bioplastic compost plastic

Breaking news! UK Parliament to dramatically reduce plastic use through Vegware compostable products

The UK Parliament will be replacing their single-use plastic food and drink packaging with plant-based Vegware. These products include our certified compostable cutlery, coffee cups and lids, soup containers, takeaway food containers, salad boxes, and drinking straws.

As part of this sustainable switch, Parliament will be introducing new waste bins to capture the used compostable disposables, which will then be sent to an in-vessel composting facility. The used Vegware will first be shredded, and the composting process will start by naturally occurring micro-organisms already in the waste. The process results in high-quality compost being produced that is fit for any garden.

Eilidh Brunton, Vegware’s Group Recycling Consultant, said:

“The UK Parliament choosing and composting Vegware is the highest accolade for compostable disposables as a practical recycling solution in foodservice. It’s an exemplar of best practice, breathing life into circular economy principals, composting biowaste here in the UK to enrich British soils. We are delighted to be a part of this collaboration.”

Compostable products are just one of many measures announced this year by Parliament, with the aim of eliminating single-use avoidable plastics from both Houses by 2019. It has already made reusable coffee cups readily available and, from October, will stop selling bottled water.

To learn more about this news, read the full press release here or get in touch at comms@vegware.co.uk.

Vegware open windrow garden waste composting compostable cups coffee drinks

Newsflash! First step towards UK garden waste composters accepting Vegware’s cups & lids

Garden waste composting facilities across the UK are now officially allowed to process Vegware’s certified compostable hot and cold cups and lids, if milk and cream are the only animal by-products present. This DOESN’T mean that Vegware cups can go in garden waste bins starting today – it means the facilities are now officially allowed to consider processing it, which is the first step.

It’s not possible without independent certification, but all Vegware’s cups and lids have valid compostability certificates.

Now we can start working through our environmental due diligence programme with the composting facilities and waste collectors. We will announce good news region by region, wherever businesses and householders can start putting Vegware cups and lids in their garden waste bins.

This was a Vegware initiative together with REA’s Organics Recycling Group, approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

With well over 100 open windrow composting facilities around the UK, this news dramatically increases the number of facilities allowed to process compostable drinks waste. It adds to the existing 53 in-vessel composting (IVC) facilities licensed to process food waste, over a third of which already accept Vegware’s compostable packaging.

This is a game changer for Vegware’s compostables, expanding composting opportunities for our numerous clients who only serve drinks. We’re growing the UK’s circular economy – disposables made from plants, composted here in the UK, creating compost to feed British fields.

Composting methods & used Vegware packaging
TYPE OF FACILITY FOOD WASTE RECYCLING FACILITIES GARDEN WASTE COMPOSTING FACILITIES
PROCESS In-vessel composting (IVC) and some anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities with a composting phase

 

Open windrow composting (OAW)

 

SUITABLE PRODUCTS BY VEGWARE · Vegware’s full range of plant-based compostable foodservice disposables · All Vegware hot cups – single wall, double wall

· All CPLA hot cup lids

· Clear PLA cold cups and lids

· PLA-lined paper cold cups

· Wooden stirrers (pure untreated wood, so no certification required)

Vegware’s compostability certificates for these products are available on request

CLIENT USAGE Any food or drink, including animal by-products such as eggs, meat or bones Strictly DRINKS ONLY, with MILK or CREAM as the ONLY animal by-products
COLLECTED IN Vegware’s range of certified home compostable biobags
OTHER ALLOWABLE WASTES · Used coffee grounds and loose-leaf tea

· Tea bags and coffee capsules with a valid compostability certificate

· Garden waste can be processed at all composting facilities

Continue reading Newsflash! First step towards UK garden waste composters accepting Vegware’s cups & lids

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.

Continue reading Pioneering a compostable future – join us on the journey

‘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.

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.

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Go plastic free with Vegware

Why do we make packaging from plants not plastic?

Renewable vs finite

First off, conventional plastic is made from oil, a finite resource. With oil running out, it seems sensible to use alternative materials made from renewable resources. Bioplastics are a smart modern solution, which can replace oil-based plastics and function perfectly.

Carbon

Producing oil-based plastics is more carbon-intensive than plant-based alternatives. We have worked with an independent carbon consultant to understand the embodied carbon in different packaging materials. For example:

  • Bagasse is the recycled sugarcane fibre we use to make clamshells. Bagasse has 99% less embodied carbon than polystyrene.
  • Our cups are lined with plant-based PLA, a material with 72% less embodied carbon than PE, the oil-based plastic which lines standard cups.

Our Eco Audits quantify the difference in embodied CO2 per kilo for materials used to create Vegware products compared with their conventional packaging equivalents.

So far in 2017, Vegware’s clients together have saved over 4,700 tonnes of carbon by switching to plants, not plastic. That’s like cancelling the carbon from 2,966 flights from London to New York.

Continue reading Go plastic free with Vegware