Category Archives: food waste and recycling

UK regions with trade composting collections for Vegware clients

Here’s the latest list of UK regions with a regular trade waste collection for used Vegware, going to a Vegware-approved facility.

Our waste activism

  • In 2012, when our Environmental team started forging links with the waste sector, compostable packaging was only accepted in commercial waste collections in 2% of UK postcode districts.
  • We’re just an SME, but we now employ three Recycling Advisors to work proactively with clients and the waste sector, increasing the regions where our clients can have used Vegware collected. Read some of our case studies.
  • Our UK coverage is growing all the time. Here’s the percentage of UK postcode districts with a Vegware-approved trade waste collection:
    • 2% of UK postcodes back in 2012 when we started our Environmental team
    • Up to 25% on 1st March 2019
    • Up to 27% on 19th March 2019
    • Now at 38% – updated on 18th April 2019

Continue reading UK regions with trade composting collections for Vegware clients

Guardian Vegware growth business compostable

Today’s Guardian news: 53% growth in one year

Our CEO is interviewed in today’s Guardian. If you’re finding us for the first time, well hello. Here’s a bit more background info.

  • We make plant-based foodservice disposables from lower carbon, renewable or recycled materials.
  • Even with a major shift to reusables, some disposables will be needed. Our entire range is commercially compostable, and we have a dedicated Environmental team who help clients set up composting schemes. Here’s our composting FAQ.

Our business story

  • We are an Edinburgh-based exporting SME whose sales have grown 53% in one year, to £30.7M in 2018/19 from £20M last year (and from £6.9M turnover in 2013/14). We have experienced exceptional growth during 2018 due to 2018’s huge public demand for alternatives to conventional plastics.
  • Export has grown a third for us this last year, now accounting for a third of our sales. We sell to 70 countries worldwide.
  • This last year, our team has grown from 51 to 75 (in staff numbers, not in age…)!
  • Our board has an unusual gender balance – our CEO is the only male, with five female Directors.

Vegware board of Directors female gender Continue reading Today’s Guardian news: 53% growth in one year

Local cafés champion new service to compost disposables

Three Yorkshire cafés lead a campaign to get local businesses to use a new waste collection service for used compostable Vegware disposables. Opposite Cafe, Laynes Espresso and North Star Coffee Shop are keen to start composting their used Vegware. In 6-8 weeks, the waste is turned into compost for use on Yorkshire fields.

The new service offers a composting solution for used Vegware and food waste from cafés, offices, schools and universities in Leeds, York and Harrogate and the surrounding region. Used Vegware is collected by Forge Recycling and taken to The Maltings waste facility, a modified anaerobic digestion plant with a composting phase, near Leeds. Forge Recycling are the only Yorkshire-based ‘total’ waste recycling company who can offer this service. Continue reading Local cafés champion new service to compost disposables

Trinidad and Tobago government ban Styrofoam packaging

Vegware welcomes news that the government of Trinidad and Tobago have approved a ban on polysterene foam products, such as Styrofoam, which will be implemented in 2019.

Banning Styrofoam imports

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis says the importation of ‘Styrofoam’ products into the country will be banned. Local polystyrene manufacturers have been given time to make their products environmentally friendly.

Building on change

This builds on action taken in Tobago, where the Tobago House Assembly (THA) passed a motion to phase out polystyrene foam products.

The THA is currently working with the Castara Tourism Association to make the idyllic holiday destination Castara the first Styrofoam-free village in the country.

The Caribbean island of Dominica also implements a ban on Styrofoam cups and containers in 2019, as well as on plastic plates, cups, cutlery and straws.

Packaging tax

THA official Linford Beckles suggested there was also a need to address the tax on imported packaging. He said while there are currently, “No taxes on Styrofoam products coming into Trinidad and Tobago,” there are taxes on, “Environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Beckles said the THA is looking at two alternatives to replace the Styrofoam, one is bagasse-based and the other is corn-based.

Vegetarian Pelau box from Aunty Cathy’s Kitchen, Freeport who already use Vegware packaging

How Vegware can help

Our tableware and takeaway boxes are made from bagasse, reclaimed sugarcane, and make an excellent eco alternative to  polysterene foam . Vegware already supply several catering outlets in Trinidad and Tobago. We look forward to working with more restaurants, cafes and on-site catering in the switch to eco-friendly polysterene foam alternatives.

Hobart becomes first Australian city to ban single-use plastic

Hobart City Council has voted to ban single-use plastic by 2020.  Businesses within the Hobart municipality will need to start phasing out single-use plastics in favour of re-usable or compostable packaging.

Vegware is delighted to hear of this first step in Australia, and our operational base in Sydney is poised to support clients transition to compostable packaging.

The city will have a period of public and legislative consultation before enacting the by-law either by late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest. Single-use plastic items such as plastic containers, straws, coffee cups, plastic lids and condiment sachets are on the list to be banned.

Small but significant step

Environment Tasmania Director Philip Cocker said the proposed ban was a small but significant step in environmental sustainability for the city.

“I am sure all Hobart businesses will be able to implement the by-law with positive effects on their businesses,” he said in a statement.

This single-use plastic ban is one way to combat low plastic recycling rates. A new study by the University of Technology Sydney, NSW,  found that Australia is recycling less than one third of its plastic packaging waste. Meaning that reducing single-use plastic is vital.

Vegware packaging at Sush restaurant, Hobart
Businesses already on-board

Some Hobart businesses have already chosen to go plastic-free. Vegware customer Sush, a Hobart sushi restaurant, already has its own ban on single-use plastic containers. As Trish Haeusler, from Plastic Free Launceston, says, “A lot of small businesses are already onto this [re-usable or compostable packaging] because they know customers are demanding it.”

Expanding the ban

Councillor Bill Harvey – who led the charge against single-use plastic – says that this new by-law shows, “That we’re serious about leading by example and this is one of those decisions that will have impacts for councils across Australia.”

Hobart City Council has written to Environment Minister Elise Archer to request the State Government implement a state-wide plastic ban.

Watch this space!

Bristol, Cheltenham & Worcester can compost! We’re coming to say hi…

Hello Bristol, Cheltenham and Worcester! We’re coming your way next week – to talk composting.

Close the Loop

Our new Close the Loop service collects clients’ used Vegware in Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Worcester, and the surrounding region – full list below. Our trade waste collection takes it for commercial composting to create high-grade compost in a matter of weeks. Read more here.

Visiting your area

We love seeing our products in cafés and restaurants, talking to our clients (and eating and drinking their produce). Next week, our team will be donning their trainers and visiting cafes and businesses in Bristol, Cheltenham and Worcester, to enjoy their coffee, and to talk about our Close the Loop service.

Composting your Vegware products

All our products are commercially compostable with food waste. Our Environmental team’s award-winning support includes consultancy, staff training, bespoke bin signage and communications for an easy transition to zero waste.

We now collect used Vegware in these areas:

  • BRISTOL: city centre, Redcliffe, Kingsdown, St Pauls, St Phillips, St Agnes, Bedminster, Southville, Bower Ashton, Totterdown, Windmill Hill, Brislington, Knowle, Knowle West, St Annes, Totterdown, Easton, St George, Whitehall, Redland, Montpelier, Westbury Park, Bishopston, Horfield, Filton, Clifton, Hotwells, Coombe Dingle, Sneyd Park, Stoke Bishop, Westbury on Trym, Henleaze, Brentry, Henbury, Southmead, Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Bedminster Down, Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe, Withywood, Hengrove, Stockwood, Whitchurch, Withywood, Hanham, Kingswood, Downend, Fishponds, Frenchay
  • NORTH SOMERSET: Portishead, Clevedon, Long Ashton, Backwell, Nailsea
  • SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Bitton, Cadbury Heath, Warmley, Wick, Almondsbury, Bradley Stoke, Filton, Little Stoke, Patchway, Stoke Gifford, Alveston, Rudgeway, Thornbury, Frampton Cotterell, Winterbourne, Chipping Sodbury, Yate
  • GLOUCESTER, Berkeley, Cinderford, Newnham, Westbury-on-Severn, Blakeney, Lydney, Coleford, Lydbrook, Drybrook, Longhope, Mitcheldean, Ruardean, Dymock, Newent, Chipping Campden, Badminton
  • COTSWOLDS: Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Tetbury
  • STROUD, Stonehouse, Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Nailsworth, Painswick
  • TEWKESBURY, Bredon, Cheltenham, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • WORCESTER, Malvern, Pershore, Evesham, Broadway, Droitwich

If you’d like to hear more about our composting collection, or just talk about plant-based packaging, get in touch!

Californian cities taking huge strides to reduce waste!

Berkeley and San Diego, California have set out new regulations to reduce waste from food and beverage single-use disposables. From 2020, all foodservice packaging must be compostable or reusable to comply with their Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance.

Many changes going on in Berkeley in the upcoming year…

From January 1st, 2020, restaurants, cafes and catering outlets must comply with the new disposables foodware standards. This means:

  • All foodservice packaging must be compostable (BPI certified and accepted by the local composter)
  • Food vendors must provide at least one set of three easily accessible receptacles composting, recycling, and landfill
  • See here for more details: scroll to item 22

Vegware holds the deepest set of compostability certification in the sector, including certified compostable by BPI, thereby meeting the new disposable foodware standards. Our Environmental team provide support and advice for foodservice operators seeking composting solutions to meet compliance. Read more about our extensive compostability certifications here.

San Diego is banning foam polystyrene foodservice containers within the city limits in steps to achieve zero waste!

City departments will no longer purchase or acquire foam polystyrene (styrofoam) foodservice containers, including bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids and other single-use items. Read more here.

This reduction of polystyrene is an excellent step, yet, takeaway packaging remains an integral part of consumers’ lifestyles. Vegware’s commercially compostable packaging is well suited for caterers looking for plastic-free alternatives to traditional polystyrene.

These changes build on a wave of similar city ordinances. Vegware welcomes these ambitious plans and we are keen to work with foodservice outlets to help them implement these changes.

 

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.

Plastics out of Parliament: how we support Westminster’s waste initiative

Organics Recycling magazine reports on the many measures the Houses of Parliament have introduced to reduce their waste, including Vegware’s catering disposables and a new composting scheme.

When it came to using Vegware, the UK parliament had ‘remarkable consensus’, states the article. “Both houses were extremely keen,” noted Glenn Fleetwood, Parliament’s Environmental Compliance Manager, “and impressed by…Vegware and its range of products.” The plant-based disposables have been procured through the Parliament’s longstanding supplier, WK Thomas.

Vegware fits in with their zero waste to landfill policy. Now, used Vegware from the many catering outlets is composted at an in-vessel composting facility. We’re proud to help the UK Parliament work towards their 2021 target of 75% recycling.

A key part in the scheme is strong communication between departments, as well as consistent and clear visuals across the Parliamentary Estate. Vegware has been working closely with the Estates team to help create posters and till talkers for the canteen, educating consumers about the new compostable packaging and which bin to use.

Read more 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.