Since plastic first started being mass produced in the 1950s around 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been manufactured and only around 9% of this has been recycled. So, what can we do about it? The solution to this staggering statistic? Stop using single-use plastics.
What are the main issues that plastic poses?
First off, plastic is made from oil which is a finite resource. With oil running out it’s difficult to justify plastic production as a use for it. In production, plastic also uses a huge amount of carbon and in recycling it can’t be recycled if contaminated with food. When plastic can’t be recycled it’s generally sent to landfill and can take up to 500 years to decompose. So, what’s the solution?
At Vegware, we make plant-based products instead. None of our products contain plastic, they’re all designed to be recycled along with food waste where facilities exist.
In terms of plastic waste, coffee cups contribute massively to the piles of waste generated. Cup recycling hit the headlines last year when it was revealed that, of the 2.5bn cups used in the UK every year, fewer than one in 400 paper cups are recycled.
So, what’s one of the biggest issues facing coffee cup recycling? Most conventional coffee cups are difficult to recycle due to the wide range of materials they contain. They’re difficult to separate and as a result contaminate the recycling process. One reason for this is most cups contain a plastic lining which is hard to remove and separate. That’s why we line ours with PLA to ensure they can be recycled as one alongside food waste.
We’ve launched waste collection service in Scotland, ‘Close the Loop’, to make food waste recycling simple for our customers.
Vegware believes in being part of a sustainable, circular economy and that’s part of the reason why our products are made from plants and not plastic. For more tips on how to go plastic-free see how our staff got on earlier in the year during Plastic Free July.