News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Close the Loop Bristol – Vegware launches Bristol collections and Collective bring-back scheme for compostable disposables

Posted: 16th October 2018

Vegware, the global specialist in compostable catering disposables, announces the Bristol launch of Close the Loop, its composting collection service. This initiative will collect used Vegware takeaway packaging from Bristol businesses, for composting in under 12 weeks at Rose Hill Recycling, Gloucestershire. Responding to local demand, the Vegware Composting Collective is a new bring-back scheme for Bristol cafés, to help capture more takeaway disposables for composting.

The Bristol scheme will be launched at a free event on 8th November 2018 at Café Matariki, The Brewhouse, Georges Square, at 5:30pm. Bristol sites already using the collection service include the University of the West of England, the Wildscreen Festival, and Café Matariki.

Launched last year in Scotland, the award-winning Close the Loop composting collection is now also available to businesses in Bristol, as well as Gloucester and Worcester. In addition, Vegware also works with the waste sector to help businesses in other regions access commercial composting. In September, the UK Parliament announced it was serving food using Vegware’s compostable disposables, and having them composted.

The Composting Collective is a new scheme launched responding to demand from Bristol’s independent cafés. Participating cafés display the Composting Collective window sticker inviting people to bring in used Vegware for their Close the Loop bin, even if it came from a different café. Collectively, Bristol cafés can then capture compostable disposables for composting. The scheme also aims to encourage people to visit independent cafés over large high-street chains.

Recycling Advisor Georgia Budden works in Vegware’s Bristol office, near St Nicholas’ Market. She explained:

“Bristol businesses really care about the environment, and are fully engaged in the details of waste. Many people choose Vegware because of our plant-based materials. But until now, there hasn’t been a Bristol route to commercial composting. We were determined to enable Bristol’s foodservice businesses to truly recycle catering waste here in the West Country, not just export contaminated plastics for incineration.

Rose Hill’s Gloucestershire composting facility provides the perfect balance of microbes, moisture and warmth, so the used Vegware biodegrades in under 12 weeks together with food and garden waste. It creates high-grade compost, spread on fields by local farmers to return nutrients to the soil.”

Takeaway has become a part of consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles. Even with a shift to reusable coffee cups, local foodservice businesses still rely on disposable containers to enable takeaway sales, an important income stream.

The reality though is that used conventional takeaway packaging is a mix of materials contaminated with food and goes to incineration or landfill because it cannot be recycled. The UK exports 70% of its paper and 66% of its plastic for recycling, with no idea if it actually gets recycled. In January 2018, China banned UK recycling because the quality was so low.

By contrast, Vegware’s entire range is designed to be commercially composted with food waste. Its coffee cups, cutlery, tableware and containers are made from plants, not plastic. Composting keeps materials here in the UK rather than exporting waste. UK soils are suffering a fertility crisis but compost is delivers vital nutrients, and can also help reduce risk of floods.

Vegware’s Close the Loop collections come with support to minimise contamination – bin signage, posters, banners and staff training. The service is competitively priced and completely flexible with no contract tie-ins and the option to rearrange at short notice. It also provides a clean bin with every collection.

Join us for our launch event where you’ll meet our Bristol-based clients and we’ll unveil our new bring-back scheme, the Composting Collective.

 Date: 8th November

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Location: Café Matariki, Ground Floor, The Brewhouse, Georges Square, Bath St, Bristol BS1 6LA

RSVP: Places are free but places are limited. Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bristol-launch-party-for-close-the-loop-the-composting-collective-tickets-51257257838


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here