Tag Archives: featured

Leithers Don’t Litter

As we start 2018, we like to reflect on our favourite moments of 2017. At Vegware we enjoy supporting important environmental issues, and that includes littering. Throughout 2018 we’re planning a number of anti-litter initiatives and campaigns, so here’s some inspiration from our home city of Edinburgh.

Leithers Don’t Litter are a group who love their local area, Leith, and hate seeing litter. They organise regular clean ups and collaborate with a number of organisations to help make Leith a litter free zone.

Litter pickers deserve a warm pick-me-up, and last year, our Community Fund donated coffee cups to Leithers Don’t Litter for their Earth Day clean up.

On Earth Day, around 60 people came along and collected 70 bags of rubbish. On Edinburgh’s Marine Esplanade they collected a staggering 4-5 tonnes of rubbish!

We have been really enthused by the proactive community work led by Leithers Don’t Litter. We’ll be looking out for their events starting in March 2018, as well as running our own litter pick as part of Keep Britain Tidy. Watch this space!

‘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.

marine plastic vegware compostable pollution ocean

Vegware and marine plastic pollution

A spotlight has been shone on the damage humans are causing to our oceans. The Vegware team shares the public’s sadness at the devastating extent of marine pollution. The pitfalls of plastics have been laid bare, and everyone is looking for solutions. Whilst Vegware’s plant-based disposables are designed to replace oil-based plastics in a foodservice setting, compostable packaging is not the solution to marine pollution. Here’s why.

In summary:

  • Compostable packaging is not expected to break down in a marine environment
  • All waste needs to be disposed of properly, and we wholeheartedly support any initiative that boosts recycling and reduces littering
  • Vegware provides a category-wide solution for zero waste in a foodservice environment with managed waste streams

Compostable packaging and the marine environment

Vegware’s plant-based catering disposables are designed to break down in under 12 weeks in commercial composting. We hold independent compostability certification and have conducted extensive trials in organics recycling facilities. Successful composting requires warmth, oxygen, microbes and moisture – perfect conditions which are created at industrial composting facilities and in on-site composting systems.

The marine environment however is very different, and does not provide the right conditions for compostable packaging to break down. Vegware is against littering in any environment, on land or at sea. We have not tested our products in the sea, and our products do not solve the issue of marine pollution.

At Vegware, we play a positive, active role encouraging zero waste. Our environmental team helps our clients capture used packaging and set up recycling schemes, diverting used Vegware and food waste to commercial composting. We have many zero waste regions around the UK, and in Scotland we have set up Close the Loop, our own composting collection service.

We are pleased that sustainability is at the forefront of public debate, and fully support efforts to protect the environment. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of these important issues.

plastic; plastic-free; plant-based; renewable; vegware; packaging; eco; environmental

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

Vegware compostable packaging eco range

Watch our new ‘All About Vegware’ animation!

We’re delighted to share our latest film with you. It tells the full Vegware story – what we do, and why we do it.

It explains why Vegware is different to conventional packaging. Being made from 100% plant-based materials, Vegware’s entire range of completely compostable food packaging is designed to be recycled with food waste.

Watch how we do it, and how we can support your business in doing the same.

vegware 6oz kraft single wall hot cup compostable eco packaging

New! 6oz kraft hot cup

Meet the newest addition to the Vegware kraft hot cup family! At 6oz, it’s perfect for artisan coffee – think flat whites and long blacks.

Like all of our hot cups, the 6oz kraft cup is made from sustainably sourced board with a lining made from plants, not plastic. Matching compostable lids are available.

The cup is part of the kraft single wall collection, with sizes ranging from 4oz to 16oz.

Looking for more information or samples? Contact us on 0330 223 0400 or info@vegware.co.uk.

vegware compostable recycling packaging marine plastic pollution

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.

vegware community fund recipient just cycle

Community Fund Focus: Just Cycle

This month’s Community Fund Focus is on Just Cycle – a Tweedbank-based charity which aims to  bring communities together and reduce landfill by recycling and upcycling old and broken bicycles.

Founded in 2014, the charity now has four directors. Fundraiser Alison Cameron tells us more about what the charity does:

“Our mission is to reduce inequalities, and encourage strong intergenerational relationships by involving all sectors of the community in our work. This includes recycling and re-using the bikes, and encouraging cycling among all sectors, including socially disadvantaged or isolated people.”

just cycle tweedbank vegware community fund

Continue reading Community Fund Focus: Just Cycle

vegware eco packaging compostable bagasse clamshell new product

New! 12 x 6in bagasse clamshell

Meet our newest clamshell – the perfect size for fish and chips, falafel and flat breads, or a piping hot curry and naan.

The clamshell is made from bagasse (recycled sugarcane), a breathable material which prevents hot food from going soggy. The clever new design features a handy built-in drip tray in its base to keep grease away from your food.

The new design also makes the clamshell easier to close – perfect for parcelling up food in a hurry for hungry customers!

Launching on the 23rd of February. Ask us for samples and more information at info@vegware.co.uk.

vegware compostable recycling packaging marine plastic pollution

Vegware responds: Parliament debate on banning non-compostable packaging

A recent petition was circulated which called the UK government to ban all non-recyclable and non-compostable packaging in the UK. Garnering over 75,000 signatures, it was selected for debate on 23rd January – if you missed it, you can catch up here or read the response.

Vegware welcomes debate and we were delighted to see the issue of recycling taking such a major platform. We would however like to see more leadership from government to create a roadmap to maximum recycling. We have no doubt manufacturers would respond to this with the innovation and flair that exists in the industry.

Our focus is foodservice where compostable packaging is the right solution. Other types of packaging need to be treated differently and we must recognise this as we devise the best way forward for each waste category.

The debate raised many valid and relevant points around the environmental contribution of effective packaging, for example in preventing food waste in the supply chain. There were also some familiar objections to compostable packaging raised which we would like to comment on.

Continue reading Vegware responds: Parliament debate on banning non-compostable packaging