As foodservice potentially shifts to the use of more disposables for hygiene reasons, a new composting partnership offering a sustainable waste management solution for businesses in London, Brighton, and Sussex has been launched.
The new service will see Paper Round collect Vegware's compostable packaging as a separate waste stream and send to an in-vessel composting facility, enVar, in Cambridgeshire where it is transformed into compost in a seven-week cycle.
The partnership will focus on educating businesses on compostables and best practice recycling, which the pilot found was key to making the service work. For instance, although leftover food residues are accepted, contamination from other recyclables and waste must be kept to minimal levels to meet the requirements of composting sites.
The learnings from a successful 12-month pilot scheme collecting from a dozen London sites, including corporate offices catered by Bartlett Mitchell, ISS Food Services, Lexington and Sodexo, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, managed by Interserve FM, incorporating their catering services brand, Autograph, will be shared via a webinar hosted by Paper Round and Vegware on 27 May.
Bill Swan, Paper Round's managing director, commented: "We are excited to launch this new product after successful trials with several Vegware customers. Our trials uncovered the importance of engagement and education to keep contamination levels low. Before launching a composting service, we wanted to make sure that we had a system that would deliver a viable waste stream for processors. After testing with a range of customer types we are now confident that this is possible."
Vegware's environmental and communications director, Lucy Frankel, added: "Caterers can only return to work with a major focus on safety and distancing. In the current environment disposables are in greater demand than ever, and sustainability is still paramount. We share Paper Round's focus on quality source segregation and are pleased to see clients engaging with this issue. We are proud to launch this new composting solution to enable London, Brighton and Sussex to compost used Vegware disposables."
Andy Sibley, managing director of enVar Composting, received the waste from the trial scheme: "I am pleased with the way Vegware's products work through enVar's composting process and with the quality of the material we have received. Working together with Vegware, Paper Round and customers, we continue to reduce contamination through this exciting new waste stream."
Steve Fox, purchasing director at Bartlett Mitchell, commented on the trial scheme: "We were excited to take part in this collection trial with Vegware and Paper Round. At last there is a potential solution to process compostable Vegware waste in a closed loop. We are very pleased that the trial has been a success and that composting will now be available to all our London business.
"We are anticipating an increase in the use of disposables as a result of Covid-19 and will do everything we can to mitigate any environmental impact. We fully support this initiative to engage more of our clients to convert their waste streams to this compostable solution."
Julia Edmond, managing director of Lexington Catering, said: "The success of our trial with Vegware and Paper Round allows us to make a significant step forward in achieving sustainability targets, especially in this difficult time when we need to rely so much on disposable packaging to deliver safe takeaway food for our customers. We are very proud to be part of the trial and congratulations to Vegware and Paper Round for pioneering the compostable mission at this important time."
You can register to join the webinar here.