The Vegware Journal - Issue 9

Page 1

JOU R NA L Issue 9 Autumn 2021

Vegware joins the Novolex family Page 6

Meet our new products Page 18

6 reasons to compost Page 28

In s id e cove r : S o c ia l m e d i a po s ts - i m ag e s a n d captio n s

Navigating a global pandemic, Vegware style We’re moving into Autumn 2021, which means we’ve been living with Covid for 18 months. The upheaval has been dramatic but also reveals what remains constant. For me, business has always been about people – our team, our clients, suppliers, stakeholders and the wider sector in which we operate. And people’s resilience in the face of such challenges has been both impressive and humbling.

I’m proud to say we have come through with a stronger and more efficient enterprise than ever before. Covid brought disruption, but also a renewed focus on the hygiene benefits of single-use products. This combined with an appetite for sustainable solutions has provided a platform for Vegware to win new business, support new sectors and give us a robust view on our future outlook. At the start of 2021 we were named Scotland’s fastest-growing exporter, not long after being ranked Scotland’s fourth fastest growing private company. However, the biggest change was yet to come.

At Vegware we are used to change – it’s hard wired into the nature of a highgrowth company. But such rapid change - with the potential to derail everything that’s been hard won and built over years is different.

As of August 2021, Vegware is part of Novolex – turn the page to learn more. We’re still the same team, with our brand ethos and our commitment to product, service, and waste management innovation. What’s new is being part of a substantial and dynamic enterprise. Being part of Novolex gives us an amazing new platform for growth. We gain access to new technology and supply chains, a fresh array of industry contacts and technical expertise plus a world of new colleagues and friends.

I am excited for the future. Vegware’s new home gives us the chance to really shake up the industry and develop the category we have pioneered. Stay well, and thank you for joining us in this new chapter.

From the outset our team responded with extraordinary strength, solidarity and creativity. Our clients pivoted their businesses to enable socially distanced catering. And the hospitality sector was full of examples of communities pulling together.

Joe Frankel Founder and Managing Director Vegware


Issue 9 Editorial Vegware Communications

Words Xanthe Galanis-Hancox Imogen McCaw Lucy Frankel Pat O’Brien

Design Claire Hubbard Jenny Gow Ian Craigie Gavin Rutherford

Photography Mark Cox

Contact us 39-41 Melville St. Edinburgh EH3 7JF

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Company reg SC3315121 Data used in this publication relating to Vegware’s quality and environmental performance is based on records contained in the company’s quality and environmental management system which is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

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Vegware joins the Novolex family


Our latest awards & recognition


Innovative composting solutions


New designs for European cups


Custom printing your brand


Serving safely and sustainably


Meet our new products


Client stories from around the world


Supporting foodservice through our Community Fund


6 reasons to compost


Hot drinks, fresh art! The Gallery Collection


Packaging the new normal


Why certification is important

Yes you can! Clickable images take you to related info on


Vegware joins the Novolex family We were delighted to announce in August 2021 that Vegware is now part of Novolex. Novolex is a US-based portfolio company with significant manufacturing capabilities encompassing a diverse family of packaging brands. Among them is Eco-Products, the US category leaders in sustainable food service packaging. The Vegware brand is here to stay, along with our team, ethos and product range. Gaining Novolex as our parent company is a major boost, bringing Vegware a whole new level of support, shared ambition, and manufacturing infrastructure.

become a cornerstone to the foodservice packaging markets in Europe and beyond. We are proud of what we have achieved as an independent company, and this is the natural next stage of our evolution. Novolex provides the platform for us to continue to develop our product portfolio, value proposition and waste management solutions.

We have enjoyed double-digit growth year on year, we sell to over 70 countries around the world, and in 2021 are Scotland’s fastest growing exporter. We’ve


We’re still The Vegware brand is built on quality, innovation and compostability. These will remain the focus of development in our markets. What changes can our clients expect? The answer is more new product development, enhancing our range as we gain access to a series of new technologies and manufacturing capabilities. Vegware’s full team in both the UK and US are joining the Novolex family. We believe this move

will only be positive for our partner companies, distributors and end users. By working alongside the Eco-Products team we also plan to enhance our waste management and composting programmes. We understand that a change of this nature can mean uncertainty, but we remain as committed to our clients as ever. Our spirit of ingenuity remains, but now part of Novolex, Vegware can enjoy deeper support.


Our latest awards & recognition Despite the challenges of 2020-21, we have been recognised for business growth and resilience, and also for our innovative work in sustainable waste management. We’re delighted to share this award round-up…

‘Top sustainable business’ for 2021 Readers of Business Leader nominated our CEO Joe Frankel for this accolade. The business community highlighted key figures set to lead the UK into the future, through sustainable innovation and a focus on the green economy.

SCOTLAND’S fastest growing exporter We are delighted to be growing our global sales, working with clients in over 70 countries. In 2021, Vegware is 27th in the 2021 Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.


This accolade is based on Vegware’s FY18 – FY19 – FY20 export growth. We grew our international sales 69% in a year, up to £19.2m in 2020, thanks to our clients around the globe.

Our London-based Waste Management Consultant David Dyce

Excellence in waste & Facilities Management With ever greater industry focus on the end of life for compostables, we are proud to be recognised for our ground-breaking collaborations with the waste sector. Client engagement to drive quality source segregation - this is at the heart of all our waste sector partnerships. Together with London and Brighton collectors Paper Round, we have co-invested in the UK’s first large-scale sorting line for compostables.


We work with you to set up suitable on-site waste streams

Used Vegware and food waste is collected in biobags

COMPOSTING Used Vegware and food waste turns into nutrient-rich soil improver for local use


A waste collector collects used Vegware and food waste from your site and transports it to the composting yard

The waste collector delivers Vegware compostables to a specialist in-vessel composting facility

Innovative composting solutions Waste activism is at the heart of Vegware’s award-winning environmental services. We’ve been helping Vegware clients close the loop for nearly ten years, learning, evolving and developing our client support all the time. Trade waste collections taking used Vegware for commercial composting are now available to our clients in 56 of the UK’s largest cities, covering over 70% of the UK’s urban population.

We partner with lots of waste collectors around the UK to compost used Vegware, as well as running our own service Close the Loop in Central Belt Scotland (our home turf). Our in-house Waste Management Consultants pride themselves on client engagement, helping minimise contamination with successful behaviour change.


Award-winning partnerships In London, Brighton and Sussex we partner with Paper Round. This partnership has now been recognised with four different awards, judged by industry experts in foodservice, sustainability, waste and facilities management. Paper Round and Vegware collaborate on engagement-led waste collections, helping clients minimise contamination with successful behaviour change. In 2021, Paper Round and Vegware co-invested in a new unique sorting line for compostables at the Paper Round recycling facility. Helped by WRAP funding, this belt-and-braces solution helps maintain quality to ensure catering waste can create compost for British agriculture. This innovative project scales up sustainable waste management for London & Brighton caterers relying on disposables for hygiene and distancing. We launched a new composting collection service for our customers in Cambridgeshire, too. We’ve partnered with waste management company Countrystyle Recycling as they expand into Cambridgeshire to help our clients meet their circular economy goals.

Global reach Our new Hungarian composting service by ProfiKomp Environmental Technologies Inc. helps our clients in Budapest reduce waste. Used Vegware and food waste is commercially composted, turning into nutrient-rich compost. And over in the United States, our very own Julia Wetstein, Vegware US Zero Waste Director was elected to the Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) 2021 Board of Directors. BPI is a science-driven organization and advocates for a shift towards a circular economy. They achieve this through material certifications and increasing understanding through education. They also expand access to systems that accept certified biodegradable products.


New designs

FOR E UR O P E A N C U P S HOW TO MEET THE SINGLE USE PLASTICS DIRECTIVE Vegware has new updated hot and cold cup designs for European clients. The EU have included bio-based and compostable materials like PLA in their definition of plastic, so this new rule applies to Vegware as well as all conventional cups. The graphic must be printed on products placed on the market in participating countries from 3rd July 2021 onwards (or 1st January 2022 in Northern Ireland). Read more about this Directive under Legislation on our news page. Despite the design change, everything else about our cups remains the same: SUSTAINABLY-SOURCED BOARD




The new graphic The legislation requires specific text, colours, fonts and sizes for the graphics, for the side of the cup. To balance out this bold new graphic, we are making Vegware’s sustainability info more eye-catching. To avoid confusion about the term ‘plastic’, a QR code links to online sustainability information about Vegware’s plant-based and compostable products.

Paper cups with a lining (including PLA):

Our new design looks like this. An info panel features the cup’s certification and a QR code linking to sustainability info.

Cups made entirely from plastic (or PLA):

Custom printing & turtles The marking must be visible on products which are received into participating countries after 3rd July 2021. After this date, products without the turtle graphic cannot be sold into EU countries, though we are advised that such stock can be sold within countries. Therefore, we now recommend adding the turtle graphic and associated wording to all custom printed cups for EU clients. We will not charge clients for adding the turtle graphic to existing designs.

Language variations With clients all over Europe, each Vegware cup shows this text in multiple European languages. So if you’re browsing 12oz cups, you’ll see we have a SKU for each of our three regions. These language groupings will stay the same across all cup types, making it easy to choose the right SKU. Why not tailor the languages to your target market with custom printed cups? Our in-house specialists are on hand to ensure your custom products are both compliant and stylish.

Ask us about custom print!




Croatian - HR - hrvatski

Estonian - ET - eesti

Greek - EL - ελληνικά

Dutch - NL - Nederlands

Latvian - LV - latviešu

Bulgarian - BG - български

French - FR - français

Lithuanian - LT - lietuvių

Czech - CS - česky

English - EN - English

English - EN - English

Slovak - SK - slovenčina

Gaelic - GA - Gaeilge

Gaelic - GA - Gaeilge

Slovenian - SL - slovenščina

German - DE - Deutsch

Finnish - FI - suomi

English - EN - English

Italian - IT - italiano

Swedish - SV - svenska

Gaelic - GA - Gaeilge

Portuguese - PT - português

Danish - DA - dansk

Hungarian - HU - magyar

Spanish - ES - español

Polish - PL - polski

Romanian - RO - română

Icelandic - IS - íslenska

Maltese - MT - Malti

Norwegian - NN - norsk


Custom printing your brand

Whatever you want to say, say it sustainably. Vegware’s design service helps you brand our award-winning compostable disposables. Quick & easy | Quality print finish | Eco inks, plant-based materials

Find o m o r eu t

DESIGN OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS! We can custom print most of our plant-based products. From logos to full artwork, our designers work with you to showcase your brand. Double wall cups are a speciality: Low minimum order | Quick turnaround | Foil & embossing

SERVI N G SAFE LY AN D SUSTA I N AB LY Disposables were invented for hygiene, and Vegware was invented for sustainability. Our plant-based and compostable packaging enables caterers to serve food safely and please clients.

WRAPPED UTENSILS Why not consider wrapped cutlery packs, wrapped straws and sugar sticks for easy service?


BAGS (AND BOXES) OF CHOICE Get ahead of the queues! Packaging enables chefs to prep and store menus ahead of time. Armed with a multitude of containers and bags, caterers can offer customised lunches and satisfy all dietary requirements.

Heat-sealable multi-bags Our heat-sealable NatureFlex bags are made from sustainably-sourced wood pulp. Serve hot or cold snacks, cookies, paninis, wraps or baguettes with our range of sizes.

stickers Communicating is more important than ever. Stickers are ideal to write on key information, and seal bags.

PORTION POTS Great for pre-prepared dips and sides, with a tight sealing lid to keep food fresh.


Meet our new products!

CE-marked cold cups Our CE-marked cold cups meet alcohol licensing requirements: fill to the ml line for free pour service. Available in 10oz / 200ml, 12oz / 300ml and 16oz / 400ml sizes. Perfect for refreshing cocktails, crisp ciders, chilled beers and other cold drinks. Made from renewable PLA. Showcase your sustainability with our plain, Green Leaf or Green Tree designs. Fits our 3oz insert for a food combo and our 96-Series lids for drinks to go.


Bon Appetit Bowls We have expanded our Bon Appetit bowl range with two new paper bowls in 26 and 48oz. Great for cold and hot foods. Made from sustainably-sourced paperboard, with Vegware’s Green Leaf band design. Pair with our paper for hot or clear PLA lids for cold foods.

Premium burger boxes Great for takeaway and delivery! The practical fold-out design turns the box into a plate for dining. Available in two different sizes – for individual gourmet burgers or burger meals. Made from recycled unbleached board.


Paper hot cup lids Stylish paper lid with tab for takeaway hot drinks. Simply pull back and secure tab to sip. Available in 79-Series and 89-Series. Made from sustainably-sourced paper, coated with plant-based, compostable BioPBS.

Two compartment Gourmet tray Versatile tray base with corner dip compartment for food to go. Pair with multiple lid options. Great for hot or cold foods. Made from reclaimed sugarcane fibre.


MICROFLUTE TAKEAWAY BOXES Lightweight yet sturdy clamshells for hot or cold foods to go. Available in three sizes – for individual burgers or street food, curries, salads, and fried treats. Perfect for takeaway & delivery. Made from microflute corrugated cardboard with a compostable water-based coating.

Client stories FROM around the world

We love hearing from our clients! From independent cafés to international hotel chains, we learn why they choose plant-based Vegware to meet their packaging needs.

Coyote c of f e e & de l i Coyote Coffee & Deli, Budapest, is a small Hungarian café with a big eco heart. Since opening in 2008, the owners focused on sourcing sustainable options. In 2020, Coyote Coffee & Deli switched to Vegware:

“We started our takeaway service during the pandemic. Using disposable Vegware packaging gave us the flexibility to add this service and helped provide a new revenue stream.”


R O KUSCH C OF F E E A ND DRINKS Located in the university district of Pecs, the eco coffee shop opened its doors in December 2018.

“We chose to swap to Vegware products at the end of 2020. We believe that every business should operate with an environmentally friendly focus, and Vegware helps us achieve that,” explains Rokusch manager Viktor Gáspár.

CSABAI SAUSAGE HOU S E A ND EVE N TS Since 2015, the Hungarian sausage house and event barn complex has become a gastronomical centre. In 2017, it adopted Vegware products for street food and sausage house delicacies.

“Our customers return to us knowing they can enjoy a pleasant day out at an environmentally conscious venue,” shares general manager and event director Ilona Hégelyné Győrfi.

Parklane Lux ury Col l ect i on R e s ort & S pa Located in eastern Limassol with endless views of the Mediterranean Sea, sustainability is as important to Parklane as luxury. One of the resort’s aims is to reduce or eliminate the use of disposable plastics in the hotel’s food and beverage department.


Vegware have a complete range of environmentally friendly plant products for food and service. IFIGENIA MICHAEL Health & Quality Manager, Parklane

D oug h B r ot he r s Dough Brothers, Hong Kong, care about the planet just as much as they care about pizza. That’s why their four venues switched to Vegware packaging in 2019.

treehous e Treehouse are restaurants with a heart and have locations across Hong Kong.

“We choose Vegware for the strong sustainability ethos of the company and their thorough product design. They are transparent on their sourcing and what they use in their products,” says Founder and restauranteur Christian G. Mongendre.

H I LTON M ALTA “To meet our eco goals, we switched to plantbased packaging for takeaway at our Blue Elephant Restaurant. Our flavourful dishes are delivered safely to our customers by Wolt delivery. Vegware’s sustainable catering disposables are strong and sturdy for the journey, whilst offering excellent presentation of our delicious Thai cuisine.” Hannah Farrell, Marketing Executive at Hilton Malta

Vegware’s portion pots work really well with our sauces. We get a sense of satisfaction knowing we’ve eliminated a single-use plastic, and our diners respect our use of plant-based packaging. ED ROLSTON Co-founder of Dough Brothers

Supporting foodservice

through our Community Fund We’ve got some serious ‘thank you’s to dish out today, before we go again with another 300 NHS roasts tomorrow!  Thank you to  @vegware for sending us thousands of boxes, cups and lids so we can keep dishing out our Sunday roasts.

In 2009, Vegware started the Vegware Community Fund to support sustainability in its widest sense, including the built and natural environment, and community projects, by offering monthly grants or a regular donation of Vegware’s eco packaging.

During 2020, Vegware’s Community Fund expanded to those in the foodservice industry providing meals for key workers.

MATT HEALY MasterChef: The Professionals runner-up and head chef at the Foundry

The Community Fund donated products to the Foundry, enabling them to provide 300 roast dinners to NHS workers.


Vegware boxes enabled Higham Help to provide care packages of essential items to vulnerable people isolating during the pandemic.

Our Essentials Easter Boxes for the Elderly, Vulnerable, those at Increased Risk or Self Isolating go out TODAY & I couldn’t be more proud. Thanks Vegware for supporting us with this, your boxes have certainly turned a few heads in the village. MATT JOBLIN Higham Help

The Community Fund covers hard-to-find core funding enabling our supported projects to get on with their fantastic work.  We also make donations of our plant-based foodservice disposables, both one off and regular, to charities and organisations. Current product donation recipients include; Food Not Bombs, Dundee, who provide a free, hot meals for those in need.   Our support is flexible, aiming to assist a wide social and geographical range without limiting ourselves by applying strict criteria.

Learn more about our fund:

Composting is the greenest thing you can do

What is compost? Compost is decomposed organic matter. It is a nutrient-rich soil-improver. Compost can be made from any organic matter, such as banana peels, leftover fries and compostable packaging, like Vegware.

Why should you celebrate compost? Compost is awesome. Healthy soil is at the heart of agriculture. Intensive farming can deplete the soil of nutrients and damage the structure. Compost has a critical role in preserving soil condition and reversing this, returning vital nutrients to the ground and enhancing soil structure. It’s one of the most important assets we have in securing sustainable agriculture to feed future generations. There’s huge potential to make more, use more and protect our natural resources.

COMPOST IS CRITICAL: 6 reasons to compost 1

Contributes to a circular economy

“Grow, Eat, COMPOST… Repeat” was chosen as the theme for International Compost Awareness Week 2021. By choosing to compost your food waste and used Vegware, you contribute to the circular movement of organic recycling. From farm to fork and back again.


Sequesters carbon

Adding compost to soil increases soil health, as it stimulates microbe growth. Compost is an effective way to sequester carbon. This means it pulls and stores carbon in the soil instead of releasing it into the air.


Improves soil structure

Compost increases the organic matter in the soil. By adding more organic matter, farmers can increase the maximum yield potential of their fields. It makes fields easier to work and provides better crop establishment.


Reduces flood risk

weight in water. It can replace essential organic material in wetlands.


Keeps resources local


Creates jobs

Composting keeps resources in your region without relying on export. It turns waste into useful resources, helping businesses reduce their environmental impact and join the circular economy.

Composting diversifies waste. This creates businesses and job opportunities in the waste sector – especially in rural areas – and nutrient-rich compost for farmers’ fields, helping to grow plants and crops for consumers.

Compost has high organic content. This helps it absorb up to four times its


gal le ry c o ll ec tio n awaitin g br i e f Hot drinks, fresh art! The joy of our Gallery collection? The variety! You keep ordering the same SKU, and enjoy an ever-changing selection of gorgeous designs.

Gallery the

co llectio n

Hot drinks never looked so colourful! Our limited-edition Gallery Collection hot cups are back, with nine new designs.

Beautiful art cups Our Gallery Collection cups are beautifully designed by Scottish artists, bringing individuality to your café. Available in 8, 12 & 16oz, each case is an assortment of three designs, with mixed designs in each sleeve.

Plant-based materials Eco hot cups keep your drinks warm. Our cups have two layers of sustainably-sourced paperboard, lined with renewable plant-based PLA. We produce our high-quality print finish using water-based inks. So, the whole cup is commercially compostable with food waste, where accepted.

Compatible, colourful and compostable Our double wall hot cups are compatible with Vegware’s hot cup lids, available in black and white, kraft clutches, and handled carrier. Use the Vegware Series number to match your cup to lid.


Packaging the NEW NORMAL Disposables were invented for hygiene, and Vegware was invented for sustainability. We want to make our clients’ lives easy. Our plant-based and compostable packaging enables caterers to serve food safely and please end users. Our range helps caterers plan for new socially-distanced service models, providing the packaging you need to carry on what you do best: creating new menus, serving delicious food, and feeding communities.



Necessity is the mother of invention. Which model will you choose?

Back to business | A practical guide to packaging for socially distanced catering

AL DESKO Food is brought to clients at their desks, pre-packaged and in a bag or carry pack.

PACKED LUNCHES Many foodservice settings are finding packed lunches the simplest solution.



Sometimes takeaway is the best way. Caterers can tap into a wide variety of packaging formats, for contactless collection. Carriers and cutlery packs are a must.

Instead of one large restaurant, smaller pods cater for different areas of your site. Everyone loves hot drinks, snacks, and a small chiller and hot cabinet for grab & go.



Attractive disposable trays and plates are a good temporary solution in sit-in settings.

Vegware has a wide range of packaging suitable for hot and cold food and drink deliveries, which are plantbased as well as practical.



CERTIFICATION is important

Vegware isn’t the only brand of compostable catering disposables. But let’s explore why so many in the waste sector choose only to partner with Vegware or commercial composting. In short, Vegware does a huge amount of work behind the scenes to reassure clients, composters and collectors that our products can – and do – compost.

Degradable, biodegradable, compostable? Why does it matter? Caterers know everything about their food, but packaging can be complex. So let’s bring it to life with an example.

Oxo-degradable plastic bags like this are still common in many parts of the world, but are banned in the EU as of July 2021. Don’t be fooled – oxo-degradables may be marketed as oxo-biodegradable, biotransformation, or even omnidegradable.

Your staff restaurant needs small bags to sell brownies or rolls to go. You source some with ‘degradable’ in green print. Degradable sounds like biodegradable – isn’t that ok for composting?

A simple purchasing mistake like this can risk contaminating soil with plastic – the last thing anyone wants. Our clients want their waste to become quality compost for farmers’ fields – and that has to start with quality compostable disposables.

Sadly not – these are normal plastics with an additive to make them break into lots of little flakes of plastic. Not compostable or recyclable, just a big littering problem.

Oxo-degradable plastics breakdown


Compostable –

and certified

Vegware holds the deepest set of compostability certification in the packaging sector. Certification has two steps:


Vegware chooses to make its cups, cutlery and containers from raw materials which are certified compostable.

These materials get tested in laboratories to show they meet international compostability standards such as EN13432 or ASTM D6400.


In addition, Vegware also applies to a certification agency to verify the product is compostable in its finished form, including any inks for printing.

For example, a material could be compostable in thin sheet form, but a thick wine glass stem made from it may not break down quickly enough in commercial composting.


Above: Vegware and Paper Round’s London & Brighton partnership sends waste to enVar for composting.

Tried & trusted Vegware adds a third step – real-life trials. Senior Waste Management Consultant Eilidh Brunton explains:   “We have worked closely with the composting sector since 2010. On top of investing in certification, we also conduct field trials to ensure our products break down in a variety of composting facilities around the world.   With over 350 products in our range, certification is a major investment for us. But it’s incredibly important to demonstrate our products are suitable for industrial composting.”

Here’s what just Andy Sibley, Managing Director, enVar Composting has to say: “I am pleased with the way Vegware’s products work through enVar’s 7-week composting process. Working together with Vegware, Paper Round and customers, we continue to reduce contamination through this exciting new waste stream.” 1.36 tonnes of used Vegware was trialled at another English in-vessel composting facility, and monitored by REA’s Organics Recycling Group. Its Technical Director said, “This trial has demonstrated that compostable packaging certified to EN13432 can be composted successfully through a commercial composting facility.”


Working together with Vegware, Paper Round and customers, we continue to reduce contamination through this exciting new waste stream. ANDY SIBLEY Managing Director, enVar Composting

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Vegware is a manufacturer and visionary brand, the global specialist in compostable foodservice packaging. Our award-winning catering disposables are made from renewable, recycled or reclaimed materials, and can all be composted with food waste where facilities exist. Vegware has operational bases in the UK, USA, Australia and Hong Kong, with distribution throughout Europe, the Middle East and Caribbean. Manufacturing the world's best eco products since 2006.

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