Vegware

VIBES Award: Finalist for the Best of VIBES

Highlights:

  • Since June 2017, Vegware’s Close the Loop waste collection service has collected and composted 110+ tonnes of used Vegware packaging, the equivalent of 9.7 million coffee cups.
  • Since its 2013 VIBES win, Vegware has nearly tripled staff numbers and grown turnover four-fold.

Since it was set up in 2006, Edinburgh-based Vegware has become the global market leader in plant-based compostable packaging for the foodservice industry.

The company’s catering disposables – including cutlery, hot and cold cups, tableware, and takeout containers – are made from plants, not conventional plastic, using renewable, lower carbon, reclaimed or recycled materials, and can all be commercially composted together with food waste where accepted.

Vegware exports to 70 countries and has operational bases in the UK, USA, Australia and Hong Kong, with distribution throughout Europe, the Middle East and Caribbean.

The company’s 75 staff include a full-time Environmental team who support and advise clients on options for ‘closing the loop’. This means that used Vegware can be composted to help feed farmers’ fields, contributing to the circular economy. Vegware also launched its own waste collection service, called Close the Loop, in 2017.

Vegware has won more than 70 awards for sustainability, innovation and quality, including twice being winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

 

VIBES credentials

Vegware has won two VIBES awards, the VIBES Micro Business Award in 2010 and the VIBES Waste and Resources Award in 2013. This led to a finalist position in the European Union’s prestigious European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) which are held every two years.

Lucy Frankel, Communications Director, Vegware said:

“VIBES is a great way to assess the environmental work your business does. We found it rewarding to go through the rigorous application and judging process and be recognised for our sustainable work by our peers in the industry.

“Scotland is leading the UK in affecting real environmental change and we are delighted to be part of the booming green economy.”

 

Environmental and business benefits

  • Vegware is the only UK packaging firm with compostability certification for its entire range. This certifies that Vegware’s products can break down in less than 12 weeks.
  • Since June 2017, Vegware’s Close the Loop waste collection service has collected and composted 110+ tonnes of used Vegware packaging, the equivalent of 9.7 million coffee cups.
  • Clients’ catering ‘waste’ is turned into high-grade compost for agriculture, horticulture, and landscaping.
  • Vegware works with waste hauliers to boost the uplift of compostable packaging and food waste for composting.
  • Recycling used Vegware captures post-consumer food waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.
  • Local and traceable end of life – Vegware’s compostable catering waste is processed at UK composting facilities, not exported overseas without a guarantee it will be recycled.
  • The compost created from recycling food waste and used Vegware is used to return nutrients to the soil.
  • Demand for Vegware’s products – driven in part by growing concern about plastic pollution – has fuelled rapid growth and the company is frequently ranked among the UK’s fastest-growing companies.
  • Since its 2013 VIBES win, Vegware has nearly tripled staff numbers and grown turnover four-fold.

 

Wider benefits

  • Vegware has developed many regional UK composting routes in partnership with the waste sector. The newest is in West Yorkshire, from April 2019.
  • The company’s Environmental team offers zero waste support for Vegware customers, including training staff and using clear bin signage to minimise contamination.
  • Vegware’s products help customers reduce their carbon footprint. For example, London’s Houses of Parliament are using the company’s plant-based disposables to support their zero waste to landfill policy and work towards their 2021 target of 75% recycling.
  • Glasgow street food market Platform had 6.2 tonnes of used Vegware packaging taken to composting, diverting it from landfill, Between March to October 2018.
  • In November 2018, Vegware launched the Composting Collective, a bring-back scheme to capture Vegware takeaways. It unites local cafes, creating a network of bring-back points for consumers to access composting.

 

Website: www.vegware.com

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