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Vegware becomes UK's first for 100% compostable food packaging

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Vegware Ltd, the Edinburgh-based eco packaging firm founded in 2006, has become the UK’s first ever packaging company whose entire product range is compostable and therefore suitable for organics recycling. By launching three new products, Vegware has completed its range and become the UK’s first ever provider of exclusively compostable catering disposables and takeaway packaging.
The launch features a trio of new compostable products for the food-to-go sector, all of which are unique on the UK market. These are high heat-resistant cutlery; a compostable soup container and lid set; and a genuinely compostable insulated coffee cup, made locally from EU materials.
Asked about which materials are being used, Lucy Frankel, PR and marketing executive, told Packaging Europe "The compostable cutlery is made from a proprietary PLA blend which makes the material stable at higher temperatures. The cup is made of an outer layer of high-recycled-content paper and an inner layer of sustainably-sourced paper board. The two layers are bonded together with a compostable resin and lined with GM-free cornstarch. The new soup container is made of a sturdy single wall construction with PLA cornstarch lining. The paper board is from a sustainable source and the matching lid is made of cornstarch bioplastic."
Since it was founded in 2006, Vegware has been working on offering a full product range which is compostable and therefore suitable for organics recycling. Founder and MD, Joe Frankel, explained, “Biodegradable materials do break down naturally over time, but the term ‘compostable’ means it all happens much quicker – under 180 days in the right conditions. It has taken years of R&D, but now our full range can be commercially composted together with food waste rather than go to landfill. It’s really exciting – now we can help our clients to save money with sustainable waste management as well as saving carbon and virgin materials. And of course we’re delighted to be eco market leaders.”
Yearly increases in landfill tax mean that from April 2011, commercial composting will become the cheaper option. The company works closely with the organics recycling sector and offers a UK-wide composting collection service for mixed packaging and food waste. After 6-12 weeks, the waste is reprocessed into compost, or biogas and topsoil.
The company reports that despite the current challenging economic climate, business is going well. They will be moving to larger premises and hiring new staff to cope with demand. Vegware has won several awards this year including its compostable hot cup lid winning ‘Best Disposables’ and a Green category commendation in the prestigious Caterer and Hotelkeeper Excellence Awards.
"The first major user for our compostable soup containers will be Otarian, the new international chain offering low-carbon healthy food in London and New York," concludes Lucy Frankel.
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