NEW DATA comparing the embodied carbon in packaging materials reveals huge carbon savings for renewable materials over carbon-intensive plastics. As the UN calls for a "massive shift" to renewable energy away from ‘dirty’ fuels, eco packaging firm Vegware calls for a shift away from carbon-intensive packaging. For example, figures revealed bagasse – recycled sugarcane used to make Vegware’s takeaway boxes and plates - has 99% less embodied CO2 than polystyrene.
Independent carbon consultancy En-Count used the most widely used lifecycle assessment software to compare the carbon emissions per kilo of the renewable plant materials used by Vegware, with those used in conventional packaging.
- Vegware’s takeaway boxes and plates are made from bagasse (recycled sugarcane) – 99% less carbon than polystyrene (PS)
- Vegware coffee cups are lined with cornstarch (PLA) – 51% less carbon than conventional plastic lining (LDPE)
- Vegware’s deli containers are made from cornstarch (PLA) – 55% less carbon than conventional plastic containers (PET)
- Vegware’s cold cups are made from cornstarch (PLA) – 62% less carbon than conventional polystyrene cups (PS)
Vegware’s Recycling Consultant, Eilidh Brunton comments, “Our Eco Audits have proven an extremely effective tool for CSR reporting. Since 2010, our Eco Audits have compared the carbon savings of switching to low-carbon cornstarch over PET plastic. Our new figures take this further, comparing all our renewable materials with those used in conventional packaging. We now have independent proof that across the board, eco materials have a much lower impact than oil based plastic. In 2013, by choosing to use our eco packaging, Vegware’s UK customers saved 925 tonnes of carbon. This demonstrates that businesses and caterers have a real opportunity to boost CSR and reduce their carbon footprint, by simply switching from conventional foodservice packaging to using eco disposables.”
Vegware’s latest carbon figures come at a time when the importance of carbon reduction is high on the political agenda after a recent report released by the UN. The report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for a massive shift away from carbon-intensive fuels to reduce the profound risks of global warming.
The UN report shows that if no new action is taken, the global surface temperature will increase by up to 4.8°C by 2100, which is significantly higher than the 2°C level considered to be the point beyond which the dangerous impacts of climate change will be felt. The report highlights to stay below the 2°C level, carbon emissions need to be 40-70% lower than they were in 2010.
Amid the UN’s calls to end the use of ‘dirty’ fossil fuels in order to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change, the evidence from Vegware’s latest carbon figures is clear that businesses need to shift away from carbon-intensive packaging. The extension of Vegware’s Eco Audits means their customers can continue to accurately quantify and communicate their environmental credentials.
Vegware is forging and leading their own new sector, combining environmental products and sustainable waste management for a zero waste foodservice sector. All Vegware is certified completely compostable – so unlike most foodservice packaging, Vegware can be simply recycled together with food waste after use. Vegware’s non-profit initiative The Food Waste Network is a free service matchmaking any UK business with local food waste collections and promoting zero waste.
Recently named the UK’s 30th fastest-growing company in the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards, Vegware has achieved 901% turnover growth in five years, coming 160th in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa tech-sector ranking. Run from its Edinburgh HQ, Vegware is now a global brand with operations spanning five continents.