UK’s Vegware sees start of composting revolution


In the United Kingdom, Vegware founder Joe Frankel tells The Scotsman the disposable food service packaging market is on the edge of a revolution as the world looks to overcome the massive amounts of food packaging ending up in landfills and oceans.

Founded in 2006, Edinburgh-based Vegware sells coffee cups, takeaway boxes, and carrier bags from renewable materials including sugarcane and wood pulp. All are fully compostable. The company posted £20 million (USD$28.6 million) in sales in 2017, with Frankel targeting £25 million in the current year. Inquiries have doubled in the last three months.  The United Kingdom is Vegware’s largest market, but demand is strong in the rest of Europe. Sales to the Caribbean are also growing, as several of the islands have banned plastic to keep beaches and oceans free of litter.

Frankel also believes that they only way to achieve full recycling is by composting. “[P]eople are starting to get on board with that, so I guess our product design philosophy is that you can mix as many different materials as you’d like as long as they’ve all got the same recycling stream.”

There’s still a journey to be had, and the more that consumers demand it and the more that the Government mandates it, the better,” Frankel adds.