FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Company

Where are you headquartered?
Vegware is headquartered in Edinburgh, UK, with further operational bases in the US, Hong Kong and Australia.
What countries do you sell your products in?
We sell to 70 countries and have distribution throughout the US, UK, Europe, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean.
Where can I buy Vegware to use in my foodservice operations?

US: Contact our US team at us.info@vegware.com or (844) 610-0915 

UK: Contact our Customer Service team on +44 (0)330 223 0400 or orders@vegware.co.uk to be connected to one of our UK distributor partners.

Europe: Contact our European Sales team at europe.sales@vegware.co.uk or +44 (0)3333 055 404 to be connected to a distributor.

Hong Kong: Contact info@vegware.hk or +852 2127 4489

Australia: Contact sales@vegware.com.au or +02 9987 0800

Rest of the world: Contact our Customer Service team on +44 (0)330 223 0400 or orders@vegware.co.uk, sharing your location.

How can I become a distributor?

US: Contact our US team at us.info@vegware.com or (844) 610-0915

UK: Contact our Sales team at sales@vegware.co.uk or on +44 (0)3333 055 404.

Europe: Contact our European Sales team at europe.sales@vegware.co.uk or +44 (0)3333 055 404.

Rest of the world: Contact our Global team at global@vegware.com or +44 (0)330 223 0400, sharing your location.

Who owns Vegware?
Vegware is a privately held company founded in 2006. You can learn more about our team by visiting our About page.
Can I invest in Vegware?
We appreciate your interest. Vegware is a privately held company, and at this time we have growth funding in place.
I am a student writing a paper / dissertation / article about Vegware, how can I receive more information?
We have a wealth of information available online. To learn more about composting, please read our Composting FAQs and visit our About pages. Information on our plant-based materials and products can be found on our Catalog pages and the Products FAQs. Additionally, our annual magazines, found at issuu.com/vegware , and our blog posts contain many articles, case studies and company updates from over the years.

Products

What is Vegware made from?
Vegware is made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials. We use a variety of plant-based materials – visit Our materials page for more information.
Is Vegware food safe?
Vegware is certified food safe. We hold the market's most comprehensive food migration certification.
Is Vegware oven safe? Can I microwave or freeze it?
We encourage customers to request product samples, as each kitchen is different, so samples allow you to test Vegware with your menu offerings and see how they work in your ovens, microwaves, refrigerators and freezers. Products that are Vegware-approved for a commercial kitchen appliance, such as hot cabinets, are referenced in the product's description.
Are Vegware products vegan?
Our products are made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials. We use synthetic glues to bind our materials and have confirmation that they do not contain animal by-products.
Isn’t using corn for bioplastics taking up land that could be used to feed people?
If half of the world’s plastic production switched to crop-based bioplastics, the industry would still only require 3% of the world’s cultivated land. Bioplastics are typically made from materials that are not suitable for human consumption. For example, producers do not use food grade corn in the manufacture, thus it can be grown on outlying agricultural land and not interfere with food production.
How should I store Vegware products?
Do not store Vegware near heat – for example not in direct sunlight or near an oven or radiator. Vegware is best stored at temperatures not more than 104°F / 40°C.
Are Vegware products made in the US?
Vegware is a global brand, operating across a range of markets. As such, our supply chain is spread across a range of territories including the US, UK and Asia. We manufacture our products close to the source of our raw plant-based materials, so that when transported, Vegware products are in their finished form.
What's the shelf life for Vegware products?
Generally speaking, Vegware products have a shelf life of up to one year.

Orders

Where can Vegware deliver?
Please refer to our Online orders page.
What are your cut off and shipping lead times?
Please refer to our Online orders page.
Can I make changes to my order after I've placed it?
Unfortunately, once processed and confirmed by the Vegware Customer Service team, orders cannot be amended.

Additions to an order can be made by raising a new order, which may be subject to an additional shipping charge where applicable. Where possible, we will try to minimise shipping costs and packaging materials by consolidating orders into single cartons and or single deliveries.
Can I return purchased products?
Customers are entitled to return goods – other than printed or bespoke products – to receive a refund or credit on the sum paid, and we require a specific process and timeframe be followed – please refer to our Online orders page for further information.
I've received an incorrect item in my order, what can I do?
Should you notice that you have received an incorrect item after receipt of the delivery parcel or pallets, please do report them to us by the end of the day you receive the goods: us.info@vegware.com. Vegware will not be liable for non-delivery of goods unless written notice is given within this timeframe.
I'm missing an item from my order, what do I do?
Should any shortages or damages appear after receipt of the delivery parcel or pallets, please report them to us by the end of the day you receive the goods: us.info@vegware.com. Vegware will not be liable for non-delivery of goods unless written notice is given within the timeframes advised above.
I've received a faulty item, what should I do?

Any quality concerns should be sent to our Customer Service team at us.info@vegware.com. Please include the below information in your email:

  • Product code (including associated products such as lids, pots, etc)
  • Original order number
  • Batch numbers (printed on the outer case, with prefix VEGW)
  • A clear explanation of the potential fault including usage
  • Quantity affected
  • Photo or video of the fault
  • Requested action and/or outcome

Once all required information has been gathered, we shall create a plan for further investigation with an agreed-upon timeline for updates and actions.

Where can I find the size of products or cases?
Please refer to the individual product page to find details on the product and case dimensions.
Where can I find the compostability certification?
Vegware holds the deepest set of compostability certification in the sector – you can learn more in the Our materials section on our About page. If you are seeking further details for specific products please contact our Customer Service team: us.info@vegware.com.

Composting

What's the point of disposables being compostable?
Compostable catering disposables are designed to be recycled in an industrial composting facility together with food scraps. This means there’s no need for sorting, so the compostable cup, lid, burger box, knife, and napkin can all go together without removing the half-eaten sandwich, ketchup or leftover french fries. An added bonus is that once food and disposables share one bin, other dry recycling bins are cleaner and easier to recycle.

Compostability isn’t best for all situations. For example, Vegware wouldn’t make compostable water bottles, as PET plastic already has a developed recycling infrastructure. But when it comes to food-contaminated disposables, compostability is a sensible solution.
How do compostables solve food scrap contamination?
Combining plastic and paper products in foodservice packaging creates big recycling problems. Food scrap contamination is inevitable, so the result is everything that is not sorted correctly will end up going to incineration or landfill.
What’s wrong with recyclable?
The US used to export most of its plastic for recycling, with no idea of knowing if it actually got recycled. China took a lot of exported recycling from the US, but over the years discovered it isn’t good enough quality or clean enough to recycle. Since January 2018, China has banned imports of household plastics, and only accepts cardboard and paper with less than 0.5% contamination. Other Asian countries are considering, and implementing, similar bans, to avoid becoming a dumping ground for unrecyclable waste. Food scrap contamination is a major problem, and the US recycling industry worries that most US card and paper won’t meet China’s standards.
Where is it easiest to capture used compostables?
Vegware’s close ties to the waste sector means we are able to help identify composting solutions for many of our clients – from contract caterers operating on-site dining for large corporate office buildings, hotels, universities, and more – to independent cafes and those holding events such as large-scale festivals or sports venues. Vegware staff has good tips to set up programs in many different kinds of food service operations.
What about packaging for to-go orders?
Compostables face the exact same issue as all disposables with to-go orders: How to capture it once it’s walked out the door. All disposables are fighting the same challenges, with the same end goal: Better recycling.

Vegware encourages sites that are commercially composting their used Vegware to offer a bring-back scheme to entice customers to return their used Vegware to-go containers. This can operate as a loyalty card scheme, with customers earning a point or stamp towards a free drink or other treat, for each item returned.

Where composting is not yet an option, remember that Vegware to-go packaging is still made from renewable, plant-based resources, and given the opportunity, can be composted in commercial composting facilities. When it comes to foodservice, conventional plastics are a challenge to recycle due to both our recycling infrastructure and because food residues contaminate plastic packaging causing it to be unrecyclable.
How can Vegware help clients find composting solutions?
Our unprecedented engagement with the waste sector means Vegware is uniquely placed to help our clients realize their waste ambitions. Composting collections are still regional rather than nationwide, but we proud to be actively driving change. Vegware has composting partners in many US cities.

Our US Zero Waste Director is an expert on routes to commercial composting – she can consult on your various options:

COMPOSTING REGIONS. Vegware works with the waste sector to actively grow trade waste collection routes. We currently cover select areas in the north, south, east, or west.

ON-SITE COMPOSTERS. If your business has outdoor space, a use for compost, and staff to manage it, investing in an on-site composter can be an exciting and sustainable solution, as seen in this film of Dundee & Angus College. Our Environmental team can advise which models work with our products.

Vegware has the most robust list of composter partners in the sector – become a Vegware customer and we will share our knowledge!
What is Vegware made from?
Vegware packaging is made from plants using renewable, recycled or reclaimed materials, and are all designed for industrial composting with food waste. Vegware replaces conventional plastics with various plant-based materials. For example, PLA is a compostable material made from plants. PLA replaces the conventional plastic in coffee cup linings or sandwich windows, and it’s the clear material in our cold cups and deli containers. Our hot cup lids and cutlery are made of a high-heat version of PLA.

Reclaimed sugarcane fiber is another practical material we use for our takeout containers, plates, and bowls. Known as bagasse, it performs very well, keeping heat in while not trapping condensation. Plus, it’s a renewable material and a reclaimed by-product of the sugar industry.

Read more about our eco materials and compostability certification.
Do plant-based materials work as well as plastic?
Absolutely. We’ve won awards for our product quality and functionality, in addition to being recognized for our environmentally friendly products and services.
What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
Same process, different breakdown speeds. Forget the term biodegradable, as it tells us nothing about timelines (wood is biodegradable, but a log cabin can stand for generations). Compostable means something can break down in under 12 weeks and is therefore suitable for industrial composting. Make sure your disposables supplier or brand has compostability certifications like BPI and CMA – that’s the real guarantee.
What are composting conditions?
Compostable packaging needs to be in composting conditions in order to compost. Industrial composting creates the perfect balance of microbes, moisture and warmth heat, so that compostable packaging can be included in food waste recycling. Home composting conditions vary with the skill of the householder, so we don’t make any claims there, but there have been successful trials using hot compost bins. The heat generated during composting is a function of the compost pile’s size. A small pile will typically not generate enough heat to break down packaging. Industrial facilities have very large piles.
What’s the point if I can’t compost it?
By choosing compostables, foodservice businesses can actively drive changes in US recycling. The more compostables there are in use, the more we can work with the waste sector to extend collections across the USA.
Which bin should it go in if I can’t compost it?
Vegware’s compostable catering disposables are designed to break down in under 12 weeks in commercial composting, which provides the perfect balance of microbes, moisture and warmth.

Home composting conditions vary with the skill of the householder, so we don’t make any claims there, but there have been successful trials using hot compost bins. Where there is no access to industrial composting facilities, used Vegware should be put in general waste. Vegware’s disposable packaging is made from plants, using renewable, reclaimed or recycled materials, and these sustainability benefits still apply no matter what happens to them after use.

Used Vegware should not be placed in standard recycling bins which collect paper, plastics and metals, as those materials go to a different type of sorting facility. Another reason is that food waste harms the quality of mechanical recycling – the same applies to any used foodservice disposables.

In landfill, studies have shown that compostable packaging is inert and does not give off methane.

Please do not litter – compostable packaging is not expected to break down when discarded in the environment and is also not a solution to marine pollution.
Is Vegware suitable for on-site composting?
Where collections aren’t possible, some on-site composting systems can process used Vegware with food waste. At Dundee and Angus College, for example, the compost produced on site is used in the College gardens by horticulture students – find out more in this short film case study. If your site has some outside space and would be interested in discussing options, just get in touch.
Why is education so important?
We’ve had in-house recycling experts for five years now, working closely with the waste sector and helping our foodservice clients set up composting schemes. A key part of the switch-over is education and behavior change, creating clear bin signage and training everyone involved – from customers and catering managers to restaurant staff and waste operatives. The last thing we want is to send contaminated waste to composting facilities. So, education is very important, and it’s something we take seriously here at Vegware.
If plastics are easily recycled, shouldn’t I just use plastic packaging?
The reality is that when it comes to foodservice, conventional plastic can’t be recycled easily. Foodservice packaging made from conventional oil-based plastics – once used and permanently marked with food and drink residue – are a massive recycling challenge. Instead, composting is a local form of recycling, boosting local economies and supplying nutrient-rich compost for use in agriculture, horticulture, and landscaping.

Compostables are the only practical solution for food-contaminated disposables. The more businesses that go compostable, the faster we can achieve this much-needed change.

Interested in learning more about how to compost your used Vegware? Contact our Environmental team to find the best solution for your business. We offer Vegware clients expert support, every step of the way to zero waste. Email julia.wetstein@vegware.com.

Custom Print

Are custom printed products compostable?
Yes. As with all Vegware, our custom print products can be commercially composted where accepted.
What do I need to provide for a custom print product?
We need your logo and any additional text and artwork elements you may want included. We ideally require these in a vector format, however, depending on the product, we may be able to use high resolution jpegs (300dpi or higher). Please include instructions if you have a specific idea in mind for your artwork.
How much do you charge to put artwork together?
Our Creative team will spend up to an hour on a custom print request and, if needed, can amend the design based on your feedback. Over and above this first free hour, we will charge a flat rate for each additional amendment.
What happens once my artwork has been created?
We will send you a digital proof of your artwork so that you can approve the colors, sizing and positioning before it goes to print.
How do I make sure the colors are correct?
We ask that you provide CMYK values or Pantones codes to ensure colors come out as you expect. These values will also be stated on the digital proof so that you can sign off on them.
How do I decide between Pantone or CMYK colors?
Please refer to our Pantones vs CMYK guidance sheet.
What types of finish are available for double wall hot cups?
We can print on either matte or gloss board, depending on your preference. Matte board is slightly textured and is similar in finish to recycled paper. Gloss board is smooth and shiny, ideal if you want your colors to be more vivid.
What kind of inks are used for custom printed products?
All of our products are printed using vegetable or water-based inks, and the finish is great.
Can I design my own custom print artwork?
Yes! If you would like to design your own custom printed products and have access to Adobe software, please get in touch so that we can supply you with the correct templates and guidelines.
What file formats do you work with?
If you are providing your own artwork, we accept Adobe Illustrator (.ai), editable .pdfs or .eps files.
How long will it take for me to receive my custom printed product?
Timing varies based on the product, design and quantity ordered. Please contact our Customer Service team who can provide a more detailed timeline.