UK-based Vegware has been manufacturing plant-based compostable and other environmentally-focused products since 2006. The company's first sustainability report details how the compostable foodservice packaging manufacturer has been able to scale commercially-compostable products since its inception and, most specifically, its efforts in 2021.
"We have at various times been asked how we approach sustainability, or what kind of sustainability initiatives we have in play," said Joe Frankel, managing director, in the report. "The question would come somewhat as a surprise given that we are built from the ground up around sustainability, specifically to address key issues around resource use and recycling, and to take a leadership position on waste management in a foodservice setting."
Vegware is poised to grow the commercial compostable packaging market, managing operations in the UK, the United States, Australia and Hong Kong and distribution throughout Europe, the Middle East and Caribbean.
South Carolina-based packaging manufacturer Novolex acquired the company in August 2021, which "expanded opportunities for product development and ways to expand our mission," according to Vegware.
In 2020, the company partnered with Nike on the Drive to 100% Food Waste program at Vegware's Memphis, Tenn. distribution center. The initiative was the catalyst for corporate composting in the region, scaling and stabilizing in 2021 as operations resumed following the pandemic.
Vegware was one of six collaborators that designed and implemented the program, creating bespoke waste signage for Nike and working with the food and food-related compostable waste from the ISS Guckenheimer food services, according to the report. Food waste was transformed into compost for local community gardens at the chosen sites.
Back in the UK, Vegware reported that "at the end of 2021, 100% of mainland UK was covered by courier post-back services, and regular commercial collections were available for Vegware clients in 46 of the UK's largest towns and cities, covering 69 percent of the UK population."
The company's waste consultancy group assisted 55 clients including large-catered offices, universities and independent cafes in launching composting at their respective locations.