Category Archives: global

Recycle Week

It’s Recycle Week! Vegware’s activity sheets help children recycle at home, school and on the go. Our Bin Detective sheets help young recyclers ‘Use it! Check it! Bin it!’ by highlighting the differences in packaging and which bin to put it in.  

Conventional foodservice packaging is a mix of materials, which is can be a challenge to recycle, meaning it often ends up in landfill. Compostables are designed to be recycled with food waste where accepted, turning into nutrient-rich compost for local farmers’ fields. Composting is a form of recycling that keeps resources local.  

With colouring in and sorting sheets, crosswords and word searches, Vegware’s activity sheets answer a wide range of questions about compost, compostables, material segregation and the importance of recycling. Helping recyclers use it, check it, bin it this recycling week and forever.  

Download Vegware’s activity sheets here

Join Vegware at the PAC-12 Sustainability Conference

Our Zero waste Director, Julia Wetstein, is speaking at the upcoming Pac-12 Sustainability Conference, 25-26 June at The University of Washington, Washington, USA. Julia will be presenting research, conducted by CMA and the University of Washington, on the benefits of utilising composting packaging to capture post-consumer waste.  Register for the conference today!

Julia will be discussing compostables on a panel alongside experts from the Composting Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) and University of California, Berkeley. Julia has over 20 years experience in composting, agriculture and implementing zero waste programs. In the Vegware team, she bridges the gap between the foodservice and composting worlds. We catch up with her before the conference:

Continue reading Join Vegware at the PAC-12 Sustainability Conference

The EU Single Use Plastics Directive

What is it?

New far-reaching EU guidance aimed at reducing plastic marine pollution. It is based on the 10 single-use plastic items and fishing gear which account for 70% of marine litter in Europe.

“The European Strategy for Plastics is a step towards establishing a circular economy in which the design and production of plastics and plastic products fully respect re-use, repair and recycling needs and in which more sustainable materials are developed and promoted.”

 

What is going to be banned?

  • OXO-DEGRADABLE PLASTICS. Common in cold cups, cutlery, straws, and carrier bags, and often labelled ‘degradable’ or mis-sold as ‘biodegradable’. These are conventional plastics with an additive to make it fragment into small flakes, but are not suitable for recycling or composting.
  • EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE food and drink containers – also known as Styrofoam. Very common material in cups, clamshells, plates and bowls.
  • All PLASTIC CUTLERY, PLATES, STIRRERS and STRAWS. That includes plant-based and compostable plastics, as the Directive is based on how materials behave in the marine environment. Compostable packaging breaks down in commercial composting conditions which provide a perfect balance of microbes, moisture and warmth; these are different conditions to the sea.

When does it come into force?

2021 at the earliest, with different deadlines to achieve various goals. Agreed upon in 2019, EU member states have two years to put the legislation into their own national laws. The UK has signalled it may mirror the EU’s actions, regardless of Brexit.

Continue reading The EU Single Use Plastics Directive

Vegware is exhibiting at HostMilano

Vegware will be visiting Milan to exhibit at HostMilano, the equipment, coffee and food show this autumn. The 41st International Hospitality Exhibition will take place at the Fieramilano exhibition and trade centre from 18th-22nd October 2019. Will you be there? Come say hello!
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HostMilano is the world leading trade fair dedicated to the world of catering and hospitality. Our EU Sales team will be showcasing Vegware’s plant-based compostable catering disposables to over 2,000 professionals in the foodservice industry. Attendees vary from coffee merchants and confectionary experts to professional caterers and pizza and pasta specialists.

Our team will be happy to sample their wares! Visit our stand (L24, Hall 9) to view samples from our range of over 300 plant-based, eco-friendly products including award-winning cutlery, hot and cold cups, tableware and takeaway containers.

We are looking forward to catching up with distributors and clients and meeting new customers!

For more information about the event, please see here. Ciao!

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!

Barbados businesses urged to get on board with plastic ban

The Government of Barbados proposes banning imported single-use plastics and foam polystyrene (Styrofoam) packaging. This action follows the recent wave of legislation against foam polystyrene  in the Caribbean.

Single-use plastics under import ban

From 1st April, 2019, imported single-use plastics, such as cutlery, stirrers, straws, plates, egg trays, and polystyrene containers used in the culinary retail industry will be banned.  There are a number of plant-based alternatives available to petro-based single-use plastics.

Vegware attends plastic-free Expo

Vegware Global Business Development Executive, Simone Muhlack, was at BICO’s Eco-Pak Biodegradable Expo at Cricket Legends, Fontabelle, St Michael. This Expo came in advance of the Government’s proposed ban set to take effect on April 1, as an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of environmentally-friendly packaging. BICO are a longstanding supporter of Vegware and distribute the plant-based packaging alongside their ice-cream business.

BICO support plastic-free packaging

At the Expo, BICO’s Executive Chairman Edwin Thirlwell said, “we must do what we can to reduce plastic contamination.” He noted that while plastic-free packaging alternatives might seem more expensive than the traditional plastic and polystyrene containers, the damage and cost of the latter are much greater in the long run. BICO introduced plant-based Vegware packaging back in 2016, as an eco-friendly alternative plant-based option for foodservice.

Kammie Holder, Public Relations Officer of the Future Centre Trust, said the proposed ban on plastics is timely and necessary.

Vegware also welcomes this news from The Government of Barbados. We look forward to helping support caterers in their transition to plastic-free food and drink packaging.

Read Barbados news

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.

 

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We’re in the Sunday Times SME Export Fast Track 100!

We’re delighted to announce that Vegware has been placed at No. 50 in the Sunday Times SME Export Fast Track 100.

The Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 ranks Britain’s 100 small and medium-sized (SME) companies with the fastest-growing international sales over the previous two years.

The position recognises Vegware’s global expansion. We operate in four continents, providing customers with eco packaging, waste consultancy and bespoke branding services. With customers from Barbados to the Seychelles, Vegware is set for further expansion in the coming year.

Congratulations to everyone else on the list, and a massive thank you from the whole Vegware team to our customers and supporters across the world.

Bagasse plate tableware bowl vegware compostable eco packaging

Vegware is making waves in Barbados

Sun, sea – and Vegware! Campaigners in Barbados have been calling for ways to reduce polystyrene on this Caribbean island. Around seven 40-foot containers of polystyrene products go to their landfills every week, putting a huge strain on the environment and the limited available landfill space.

Vegware’s bagasse takeaway boxes and tableware are made of recycled sugarcane, which can be composted in home or industrial composting. Once it’s broken down, the resulting compost helps plants to grow. Bagasse also has 99% less carbon than polystyrene – so it’s eco friendly from start to finish.

Bico Ltd, the leading manufacturer of ice-cream and frozen desserts in Barbados, have been spreading the word about using Vegware. Edwin Thirwell, Executive Chariman explains:

“We know about the health and environmental risks posed by polystyrene packaging which is widely used in Barbados on a daily basis, and we must do what we can to reduce these risks and protect consumers. We have found a solution in Vegware, and we are urging the public to pay attention to the effect of their choices on our natural environment and their personal health.”

Read more about Vegware’s compostable solution in Barbados in the Barbados Advocate, Loop News Barbados and Barbados Today.