Tag Archives: Vegware

New! 5″ burger box

burger box

Introducing the newest member of our bagasse takeaway range – our new     5”burger box.

Made from sustainably sourced bagasse, an eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene, our clamshell burger box is perfect for kids’ meals, budget burgers and side dishes.

Bagasse has great thermal properties and it doesn’t trap condensation like plastic, so food stays hot and crispy. Our burger boxes are also freezer and microwave safe.

Available to order now, ask us for more information or samples over at   info@vegware.co.uk.

Sustainable snacking at the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe Food

The Fringe is a busy time for everyone in Edinburgh. Thousands of comedians, poets, performers and actors take up their posts in the city for the best part of a month to showcase their talents and make a name for themselves. The Edinburgh Fringe is a unique event which rightly puts the city on the map. With a whole host of exceptional shows and performances taking place, it really is a month to savour.

However, it’s not only performers who have an opportunity to strut their stuff, Edinburgh’s food scene over the month is also one to relish. So much so that we spent a day visiting some of our customers and sampling what treats they had to offer. Here are some highlights for food at The Fringe –

The Gilded Balloon

Edinburgh Fringe Food

The ever-popular Gilded Balloon offers an abundance in performances and shows, and it is also home to a wide range of food and drink pop-ups. We ventured to their Teviot Library Bar to sample their lamb rogan josh. Pictured here in one of our bagasse clamshells, their gluten-free curry with a base layer of rice proved to be delicious start to our afternoon.

The Crema Caravan

Edinburgh Fringe Food

A short walk around the corner to Charles Street and brought us to The Crema Caravan. Famed for its hot-to-go ‘Burnt to Order’ crème brulees. It’s also a great stop for a tea or coffee break during a busy day taking in everything Edinburgh has to offer with drinks being served in Vegware hot cups. Some classic crème brulee flavours you should try include madagascan vanilla, tonka bean and hazelnut praline or salted caramel.

The Mac Shacks

Edinburgh Fringe food

Located just off Underbelly at George Square, we visited The Mac Shacks next. Serving up classic comfort food, macaroni cheese, in a variety of different formats, this ‘shack’ really is worth a trip to. We opted for (pictured) the classic mac and cheese with crispy onions sprinkled on top. Served in one of our soup containers, The Mac Shacks really offers something different from a lot of other pop-ups at The Fringe.

Frisky

Edinburgh Fringe Food

After a busy day of eating and walking around Edinburgh we wanted something sweet to end our day. Frisky’s frozen yoghurt pop-up was exactly what we wanted. We went for the Festival Mess froyo sundae which features frozen yoghurt, raspberry coulis, berries and meringue. Pictured below in one of our soup containers, the Festival Mess definitely delivered the perfect end to a delicious day at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Edinburgh Fringe Food

Vegware Plastic Free July week

Plastic Free July

Over the course of July many people have been sharing their thoughts and tips on how you can reduce your plastic use.  Across our Vegware office we’re encouraging staff this week to reduce and re-use plastic, rather than relying on single-use plastic. However, before we do this it’s important to explain why we’re doing this and why it’s essential that awareness around single-use plastic consumption is increased.

At Vegware we believe in compostable solutions to single-use plastic, that’s why you won’t find any plastic in any of our products. Why do we not believe in single-use plastics? Below are just a couple of reasons why –

Plastic items are designed to last forever, they break up, not down and therefore they contribute permanent pollution throughout our environment and in landfill. It’s estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been manufactured since it was initially mass-produced in the 1950s. Only around 9% of this amount has been recycled which really raises an issue with the amount of single-use plastic products being produced.

One of the main issues that faces single-use plastic is that it’s not being disposed of correctly or it can’t be recycled which is causing long lasting waste.

Vegware believes in being part of a sustainable, circular economy and that’s part of the reason why our products are made from plants and not plastic. Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing our tips and the innovative ways our staff have been reducing their personal plastic consumption. Join in the fun, if you’ve been participating in Plastic Free July this month then send us examples of what you’ve been doing via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

On-site composting at Dundee and Angus College

For Dundee and Angus College in Scotland, on-site composting provided an ideal solution for them to take control of their food waste, reducing packaging in canteens, and move away from plastics in food service. 

The first thing the College needed was a packaging supplier that could offer a sustainable, compostable solution to aid their on-site composting ambitions.

Why Vegware?

Vegware’s packaging is made from plants, not plastic, and designed to be composted with food waste.  

On choosing Vegware as a sustainable packing supplier, Jackie Beresford at Dundee and Angus College commented:

The quality of the product along with the very good customer service is the reason why we use Vegware and continue to do so.”

Because Vegware’s products are compostable, they can be combined with food waste and processed in Dundee and Angus College’s own composter.

With help from food waste experts, Tidy Planet, the college operates an on-site composter called The Rocket Composter. The Rocket speeds up composting by providing it with a perfect environment in which to thrive; moisture, heat and air is all controlled. 

Dundee and Angus College

How it works

Vegware worked with Dundee and Angus College to create bespoke bin signage in the canteens to reduce contamination. All compostable packaging and food waste goes into one bin – there’s no need to clean, sort or separate any of it.

Food waste and Vegware is gathered, shredded and de-watered together in a macerator. From here on it is combined with other green waste and woodchips inside The Rocket composter. In as little as 14 days the gardeners at Dundee and Angus College have access to a high-quality mulch they can use on the College garden.

Dundee and Angus College

Savings in carbon and cost

The process saves money and carbon, and is easy to manage. It’s a great circular approach that takes place on the same site from start to finish. Coffee cups, coffee grinds and food waste can realistically be handled by the gardeners as a mulch on the ground in 14 days’ time. The system has a 20-year life span, but equipment of this scale can often pay for itself in less than five years. 

Collecting waste and sending it to landfill, a recycling plant or a composting facility can take several trips based on how much waste a business accumulates. By composting on-site, Dundee and Angus College saves both money and carbon. Hugh Crampton from Tidy Planet explains:

“By doing something like this, instantly you’ve reduced two or three vehicles movements per week for the collection of those wastes. If you add that mileage up for a collection vehicle for 20 years and that’s a whole lot of carbon emissions you’ve just avoided.”

Dundee and Angus College

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss on-site composting systems.

Total World Environment Day Event

World Environment day

To celebrate World Environment Day we were invited to attend an event set up by Total to speak to children from an Aberdeen school. The focus of the day was to educate and raise awareness of recycling to the children through a range of engaging activities.

World Environment day

The kids were treated to a tour of Total’s recycling set-up and we brought along some Vegware products and our interactive ‘Bin Detective’ activity. This involved a presentation from a member of our Environmental team where we looked at the benefits of recycling and composting. We then tested out their knowledge through introducing them to a variety of Vegware products.

world environment day

One of the highlights of the day for the kids was the introduction of the ‘Smoothie Bike’. The premise behind this being that the pedalling of the bike generated the energy needed to start the smoothie maker. A delicious smoothie proved to be the perfect reward for their hard work. We had a great day at Total’s event and we’re sure the kids took on board some useful recycling knowledge.

River Cottage Spring Food Fair 2017

River Cottage Spring Food Fair

We were lucky enough to visit River Cottage’s Spring Food Fair for the second year running. Working alongside Vegware last year, River Cottage achieved a 72% recycling rate by serving all food on compostable packaging. With UK events averaging around 15% for recycling, our Vegware team went to River Cottage with the intention of building further on last year’s success.

River Cottage Spring Food Fair

Vegware’s packaging is made from plants, not plastic, and it’s designed to be recycled with food waste. This means food doesn’t need to be separated from its packaging as it can all be recycled together. This is something our Vegware team wanted to communicate to everyone attending the event.

River Cottage Spring Fair Festival

Vegware’s team oversaw River Cottage’s recycling and made sure contamination was kept to a minimum through our clear bin signage, posters and engagement with visitors and stall holders throughout the event site. As well as this, our team were on hand to answer any general questions attendees had about how to recycle their Vegware. We thoroughly enjoyed our long weekend at River Cottage Spring Food Fair and we’re looking forward to seeing our Vegware waste returning to River Cottage as fresh compost.

River Cottage Spring Food Fair

Waste

Why should you start thinking differently about waste?

At Vegware, we want to change the way people think about ‘waste’. This word has connotations of useless, unwanted items that are thoughtlessly discarded. Traditionally, our linear economy has made it easier, faster and cheaper to dump or burn used materials. And the language we use encourages us to become more detached from these processes. But as materials become scarcer and our planet is increasingly strained, we must realise that all products have the potential to become another resource: it all depends on how we treat them.

‘Food waste’ is a perfect example. This material is not waste at all – it is a valuable resource! Not only do our potato peelings and banana peels have the potential to produce gas that can be converted into renewable energy, our food waste can also become a nutrient-rich fertiliser. Composting is the process of handling food waste in a controlled environment, encouraging decomposition by ensuring that the materials have a balance of heat, microbes, oxygen and water. The result: a wonderful, organic product that can be returned to soil and benefit the growth of more food and plants. Dr Anne Bhogal, Senior Research Scientist at ADAS took the time to explain in more detail:

Soils are one of our most precious natural resources, but are under threat due to erosion, compaction and loss of organic matter. Recycling compost back to agricultural land is a valuable way to increase soil organic matter levels and improve soil health which will in turn lead to more sustainable and resilient cropping systems.

Unfortunately, around the world many people do not appreciate the importance of sustaining healthy soil. In the United States, soil is often referred to as ‘dirt’ – which, like ‘waste’, has negative connotations! Few people understand that our ability to grow food is dependent on the quality of this soil. In the UK, our soils are badly damaged: research suggests that with increased soil depletion, there could be only 100 harvests left. We need to protect our soil to ensure food security for ourselves, and the next generation.

Compost has an essential role to play in this protection. Applying compost to land returns valuable nutrients to the soil, that may have been lost due to heavy agricultural practices. As the UK experiences more flooding incidents due to climate change, compost is particularly important as it makes soil more resistant to increased rainfall and stops run-off. But don’t take our word for it! Dr Jane Gilbert, an expert in biological treatment (e.g. composting) processes explained to us why it is so important to increase composting in the UK:

Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic wastes and is as relevant in 2017 as ever before. Britain’s arable soils are suffering from a chronic loss of organic matter and quality composts are an excellent way of helping stem this loss and re-build soil organic carbon. Not only does this improve soil function, it also acts as​ a carbon sink, helping combat climate change.

The research shows that compost can have a key role to play in tackling climate change. The organics recycling sector and agricultural sector have the power to use this valuable resource to restore our soils. But most importantly, we must change our mind-set around organic materials. In nature, there is no ‘dirt’ or ‘waste’. There are only resources that are not being valued and protected. We must change that.

Find out more about the importance of protecting our soils:

ADAS – http://www.adas.uk/

Farmers Weekly (2015) ‘Only 100 harvests left in UK farm soils, scientists warn’ – http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/only-100-harvests-left-in-uk-farm-soils-scientists-warn.htm

Organics Recycling (2016) ‘Combating Climate Change’, Spring 2016: Issue 29, pp. 48-49

WRAP DC-Agri research – http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/digestate-and-compost-agriculture-dc-agri

International Compost Awareness Week

Compost: Why should you care about it?

This week, which you may not know, is International Compost Awareness Week. As you may know, Vegware’s products are compostable which means they can be broken down into compost, so we thought we’d take a look at why compost is so important to the Earth.

First off, what exactly is compost? Compost is the substance produced when organic materials decompose in a controlled environment. A balance of high temperatures, oxygen and moisture provides the perfect setting for micro-organisms to break down organic waste, releasing nutrients and creating a valuable material for agricultural and horticultural use.

So, why is it important? Compost plays an important role in improving soil conditions and functionality, as it helps return valuable nutrients that have been lost in the agricultural process. Compost helps improve nutrient content and soil structure. It also plays a key role in suppressing plant disease and pest problems, maintaining moisture and saving water.

Compost also plays a key role in combating climate change and reducing our carbon footprint. Research shows that compost can support in sequestering carbon as it returns organic matter to the soil. Composting organic materials provides a carbon storage, which can help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

So where does Vegware come into all of this? By composting organic material such as food waste and Vegware packaging, our waste can become a valuable resource. This process keeps biodegradable materials out of landfill and turns them into useful new products, whilst also reducing carbon emissions.

Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels this week as we’ll be posting more across International Compost Awareness Week.