This week, everyone has suddenly realised that conventional plastic-lined cups are rarely recycled – something we’ve known for a long time. Hugh’s War on Waste has done an excellent job of highlighting the challenges of recycling conventional foodservice packaging. This is a problem that Vegware solves.
“The truth is,” says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, ”they are barely recyclable at all – in the everyday, commonly understood sense of the word. They cannot be recycled through any of the normal public waste collection services – who are consistently diverting them to be incinerated or sent to landfill.
Hugh’s War on Waste focused on coffee cups (as did the Guardian, the Daily Mail, Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show and more). But it’s about more than just cups – it’s the same issue for all takeaway packaging.
Conventional takeaway packaging uses a mix of materials (plastic, card, films, metals). Conventional coffee cups are lined with plastic, and sandwich boxes are card with a plastic window. Separately, plastic and card are easy to recycle. But combined, the card contaminates the plastics recycling and the plastic contaminates the card recycling. Then in use, add in the food inevitable residues. The result is a recycling problem – the reason why most UK foodservice packaging goes to landfill or incineration.