Here at The Chorlton Larder we’re doing our bit for the environment. We use RPET recyclable material for some of our packaging such as the lids for our large platters. The rest of our packaging is plant-based catering disposables which are made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials.
But here’s the rub...
As yet Manchester doesn’t have the infrastructure to collect and deliver such plant-based packaging to special ‘in vessel’ composting facilities where they are in the perfect conditions to facilitate the composting process.
In 2017 Vegware (which is one of our main packaging suppliers) launched Close the Loop – their own compostables collection service – where their packaging is collected with food waste, delivered to local in vessel composting facilities and transformed into high-grade compost within a matter of weeks. This service is available in most of Scotland and in some parts of the South West namely Bristol, Worcester and Gloucester.
Why not Manchester? I hear you ask.
“Well it’s like the chicken and the egg,” explains Joe Frankel, Vegware’s founder and chief executive.
"It's hard to get a route going until lots of people are using compostables. It's hard to get compostables used until there's a system for collection in place. The more compostables there are in use the more we can work with the waste sector to extend collections UK-wide."
But Vegware are working on solutions, region by region, to actively drive change in the infrastructure. Vegware can also advise on available composting possibilities for your area and if an on-site composter may be an option for you.
And if Close the Loop happens for Manchester I’ll be the first to let you know – in the meantime Vegware packaging can be disposed of in general waste bins. (And our RPET packaging, so long as it’s wiped down and free from food waste, can go into normal recycling.)
Vegware is still the smart choice for The Chorlton Larder - because disposables are used for such a short time, it makes sense to switch to renewable materials where possible for our packaging instead of using finite oil-based plastics. It’s a simple way to reduce our carbon footprint.
Also, the more of us who choose compostable packaging, the more we will help to drive change in the UK recycling and composting industry.