Category Archives: all news

Why soils matter

Soils and climate change

Poor soils fuel climate change. There is three times more carbon in the soil than in the atmosphere, and this carbon is released in land degradation.

Land degradation is the process by which the quality of the land is affected by human activity.  According the recent Global Assessment carried out by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), land degradation is responsible for annual global emissions of up to 4.4 billion tonnes of CO2. It releases carbon stored in the soil and it effects the growth of plants, reducing their intake of carbon from the atmosphere.

IPBES’s Global Assessment states that, unless we reduce and reverse land degradation, it is projected that by 2050:

  • 50% of wild creatures will be lost,
  • human migration of people from the driest lands will rise,
  • and crop yields may reduce by up to 50% in some regions.

Addressing land degradation and climate change

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change targeted a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2° above pre-industrial levels. Tackling land degradation could provide over 1/3 of the most cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation activities needed by 2030 to achieve this goal.

Climate change and land degradation should be addressed together with similar urgency.

According to IPBES:

“Urgent action must be taken to halt, reduce and reverse land degradation. The longer we delay the more costly and difficult restoration becomes. The cost of inaction is at least three times higher than the cost of action. And the benefits of land restoration are many times more valuable than the costs.”

Toil for soil

Among other actions, Vegware believes we can take steps to reduce soil loss and improve soil health in crop lands. Composting used Vegware returns nutrients to the soil, and has the added benefit of improving soil structure, reducing the risk of floods. Our US Zero Waste Director connects clients to local composting collectors and commercial composting facilities, so that used Vegware can be composted with food scraps. Get in touch to learn more.

Vegware Packaging Inc – now recruiting for a leadership role

We are excited to share that Vegware is recruiting to fill a leadership role in our progressive and fast-growing environmentally-focused start-up based in Huntington Beach, California.

This is a truly unique opportunity for a talented and ambitious individual to develop on career successes and be part of building the US operation for the European market leader in compostable foodservice disposables. Responsibilities include planning, directing, and coordinating Vegware’s sales, marketing and logistical operations in the United States. 

You will be immersed in a fast-growing, environmentally-focused sector, expected to engage with key clients as well as exercise a wide latitude of discretionary decision-making authority, either reporting to the VP of Operations or CEO. This is a key role and vital to the success of our fledgling US operation.

If you would like to be part of Vegware’s exciting mission, please send us your resume and set out your reasons for applying in a covering letter to us.recruitment@vegware.com. If you would like the full job description or need any further information then just email us at the same address.

Compost Manufacturing Alliance officially approves Vegware for quality compost

Vegware announces today it has received the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) approval on a wide range of its plant-based compostable foodservice packaging. This provides official recognition and acceptance of the Vegware products as compostable by both CMA-I facilities and Cedar Grove’s covered processing system.

Testing compostables


The CMA and its affiliated partner, Cedar Grove Composting in Washington State, field testing results demonstrate that products manufactured by Vegware are acceptable in operations and processes.

The CMA is a partnership of the top U.S. compost manufacturers, providing field validation of compostable feed stocks within real world processing technologies. Cedar Grove Composting is a Seattle-based, family-owned business producing nutrient-rich compost.

As composting collections and processing grows in the US and globally, ensuring foodservice packaging works as feedstock in modern large-scale composting facilities is essential. This way, operations at each step of the organics recycling process runs smoothly.

Vegware approved

This official recognition allows access to the CMA “Composter Approved” logo. The “Composter Approved” logo signals nationwide processing opportunities to create quality compost from Vegware’s wide range of plant-based compostable foodservice packaging.

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Serving sustainable scoops at The Ice Box

The Ice Box has been a Brooklyn, Connecticut institution for over 40 years. The ice cream parlor opened in 1978 in a renovated gas station, where it’s still located to this day. They use Vegware as part of their sustainability plan – read the full story here.

Local resident Jenn Nemeth landed her first job at The Ice Box in 1998. In 2018, 20 years after joining the team, Jenn went from employee to owner, purchasing The Ice Box and making her own sweet sustainable switch to its operations. One of her first business decisions, was to use Vegware.

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Trinidad and Tobago government ban Styrofoam packaging

Vegware welcomes news that the government of Trinidad and Tobago have approved a ban on polysterene foam products, such as Styrofoam, which will be implemented in 2019.

Banning Styrofoam imports

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis says the importation of ‘Styrofoam’ products into the country will be banned. Local polystyrene manufacturers have been given time to make their products environmentally friendly.

Building on change

This builds on action taken in Tobago, where the Tobago House Assembly (THA) passed a motion to phase out polystyrene foam products.

The THA is currently working with the Castara Tourism Association to make the idyllic holiday destination Castara the first Styrofoam-free village in the country.

The Caribbean island of Dominica also implements a ban on Styrofoam cups and containers in 2019, as well as on plastic plates, cups, cutlery and straws.

Packaging tax

THA official Linford Beckles suggested there was also a need to address the tax on imported packaging. He said while there are currently, “No taxes on Styrofoam products coming into Trinidad and Tobago,” there are taxes on, “Environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Beckles said the THA is looking at two alternatives to replace the Styrofoam, one is bagasse-based and the other is corn-based.

Vegetarian Pelau box from Aunty Cathy’s Kitchen, Freeport who already use Vegware packaging

How Vegware can help

Our tableware and takeaway boxes are made from bagasse, reclaimed sugarcane, and make an excellent eco alternative to  polysterene foam . Vegware already supply several catering outlets in Trinidad and Tobago. We look forward to working with more restaurants, cafes and on-site catering in the switch to eco-friendly polysterene foam alternatives.

Hobart becomes first Australian city to ban single-use plastic

Hobart City Council has voted to ban single-use plastic by 2020.  Businesses within the Hobart municipality will need to start phasing out single-use plastics in favour of re-usable or compostable packaging.

Vegware is delighted to hear of this first step in Australia, and our operational base in Sydney is poised to support clients transition to compostable packaging.

The city will have a period of public and legislative consultation before enacting the by-law either by late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest. Single-use plastic items such as plastic containers, straws, coffee cups, plastic lids and condiment sachets are on the list to be banned.  

Small but significant step

Environment Tasmania Director Philip Cocker said the proposed ban was a small but significant step in environmental sustainability for the city.

“I am sure all Hobart businesses will be able to implement the by-law with positive effects on their businesses,” he said in a statement.

This single-use plastic ban is one way to combat low plastic recycling rates. A new study by the University of Technology Sydney, NSW, has found that Australia is recycling less than one third of its plastic packaging waste. Meaning that reducing single-use plastic is vital.

Vegware packaging at Sush restaurant, Hobart

Businesses already on-board

Some Hobart businesses have already chosen to go plastic-free. Vegware customer Sush, a Hobart sushi restaurant, already has its own ban on single-use plastic containers. As Trish Haeusler, from Plastic Free Launceston, says, “A lot of small businesses are already onto this [re-usable or compostable packaging] because they know customers are demanding it.”

Expanding the ban

Councillor Bill Harvey – who led the charge against single-use plastic – says that this new by-law shows, “That we’re serious about leading by example and this is one of those decisions that will have impacts for councils across Australia.”

Hobart City Council has written to Environment Minister Elise Archer to request the State Government implement a state-wide plastic ban.

Watch this space!

Vegware speaking at Pro2Pac on 19th March

Will you be anywhere near ExCel London on Tuesday 19th March? At 1:30pm, Our Communications Director Lucy Frankel is speaking at Pro2Pac’s Outside the Box Theatre. Entitled ‘Here today, gone in 62 days: tales from the frontier of compostable packaging’, Lucy explores where compostable packaging is the solution to quality recycling in foodservice, and where it isn’t.

Lucy Frankel, Communications Director

If you know anything about Vegware, you’ll know our catering disposables are made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials, and can all be commercially composted with food waste where accepted.

Since 2012 Vegware has been working closely with the UK waste sector to actively increase client access to commercial composting, including now offering its own collections – Close the Loop. Lucy’s presentation will offer insights into the successes, opportunities and challenges for compostable packaging within waste systems.

It is free to attend Pro2Pac – register here. Taking place alongside IFE (The International Food & Drink Event), Pro2Pac is the meeting place for everyone in the food & drink supply chain – an influential biennial gathering of producers, manufacturers, technologists and design specialists.

Do say hi to Lucy if you come along, and then stay on for 2:15pm to listen to Sian Sutherland from A Plastic Planet.

Barbados businesses urged to get on board with plastic ban

The Government of Barbados proposes banning imported single-use plastics and foam polystyrene (Styrofoam) packaging. This action follows the recent wave of legislation against foam polystyrene  in the Caribbean.

Single-use plastics under import ban

From 1st April, 2019, imported single-use plastics, such as cutlery, stirrers, straws, plates, egg trays, and polystyrene containers used in the culinary retail industry will be banned.  There are a number of plant-based alternatives available to petro-based single-use plastics.

Vegware attends plastic-free Expo

Vegware Global Business Development Executive, Simone Muhlack, was at BICO’s Eco-Pak Biodegradable Expo at Cricket Legends, Fontabelle, St Michael. This Expo came in advance of the Government’s proposed ban set to take effect on April 1, as an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of environmentally-friendly packaging. BICO are a longstanding supporter of Vegware and distribute the plant-based packaging alongside their ice-cream business.

BICO support plastic-free packaging

At the Expo, BICO’s Executive Chairman Edwin Thirlwell said, “we must do what we can to reduce plastic contamination.” He noted that while plastic-free packaging alternatives might seem more expensive than the traditional plastic and polystyrene containers, the damage and cost of the latter are much greater in the long run. BICO introduced plant-based Vegware packaging back in 2016, as an eco-friendly alternative plant-based option for foodservice.

Kammie Holder, Public Relations Officer of the Future Centre Trust, said the proposed ban on plastics is timely and necessary. 

Vegware also welcomes this news from The Government of Barbados. We look forward to helping support caterers in their transition to plastic-free food and drink packaging.

Read Barbados news

Californian cities taking huge strides to reduce waste!

Berkeley and San Diego, California have set out new regulations to reduce waste from food and beverage single-use disposables. From 2020, all foodservice packaging must be compostable or reusable to comply with their Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance.

Many changes going on in Berkeley in the upcoming year…

From January 1st, 2020, restaurants, cafes and catering outlets must comply with the new disposables foodware standards. This means:

  • All foodservice packaging must be compostable (BPI certified and accepted by the local composter)
  • Food vendors must provide at least one set of three easily accessible receptacles composting, recycling, and landfill
  • See here for more details: scroll to item 22

Vegware holds the deepest set of compostability certification in the sector, including certified compostable by BPI, thereby meeting the new disposable foodware standards. Our Environmental team provide support and advice for foodservice operators seeking composting solutions to meet compliance. Read more about our extensive compostability certifications here.

San Diego is banning foam polystyrene foodservice containers within the city limits in steps to achieve zero waste!

City departments will no longer purchase or acquire foam polystyrene (styrofoam) foodservice containers, including bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids and other single-use items. Read more here.

This reduction of polystyrene is an excellent step, yet, takeaway packaging remains an integral part of consumers’ lifestyles. Vegware’s commercially compostable packaging is well suited for caterers looking for plastic-free alternatives to traditional polystyrene.

These changes build on a wave of similar city ordinances. Vegware welcomes these ambitious plans and we are keen to work with foodservice outlets to help them implement these changes.