In a previous blog post, we explained how we had been working on a review of our business, and ways in which we could make it more environmentally-friendly. We revealed that our new ‘Wares Cares’ logo would highlight products within our ranges that are specifically chosen for their eco credentials, and we told you of the ways in which our order packaging would change in order to become more sustainable.
In today’s blog post, we are excited to bring you news of a new product launch at Wares of Knutsford. In fact, we’re launching an entirely new product category on our website - eco-friendly takeaway packaging. We’ll walk you through the new ranges and explain a little about the background of these sustainable brands and highlight a few of the benefits that these product ranges can bring.
Why do we need compostable takeaway packaging?
Everyone loves a takeaway from time to time - whether it’s fish and chips at the seaside, a burger at a festival or some delicious street food at the local farmers’ market on a Saturday morning. Even if we generally try to steer clear of the big brand burger and chicken fast food brands, most of us can’t quite escape the temptation of takeaway food entirely, and nor should we.
But it’s fair to say that up until now the packaging that goes along with takeaway food has been the industry’s dirty little secret, with millions of tonnes of single-use plastic and polystyrene used by takeaway firms every year. That level of plastic usage is simply not sustainable in the long term and it’s already contributing to the massive global problem of plastic pollution in our rivers, seas and oceans. It’s clear to us all that something needs to change on this and we’re delighted to be able to play a small part in that change by supplying compostable takeaway packaging made from natural resources.
The compostable ranges we’ll be stocking
As part of our research into what products we could stock that would make a material difference in the fight against plastic pollution, over-consumption and environmental destruction, we looked at a lot of radical companies and innovative technologies and we delved into the challenges that those companies were trying to tackle.
With takeaway packaging being such a big issue today, it seemed sensible to focus on alternatives to plastic and polystyrene items for the takeaway trade. The companies that have impressed us the most, and that we will be launching our compostable ranges with, are Vegware and Eco Products. These well-established brands have been involved in sustainable products for a long time and they have a depth of market knowledge that is second to none.
Both Vegware and Eco Products make use of ethically-sourced and compostable materials in their product ranges, including by-products from other agricultural processes. Bagasse is the term used to describe the waste that is produced when sugar cane is processed and this product can be used to manufacture all sorts of takeaway packaging items, such as clamshells, salad bowls and lunch boxes. It’s suitable for both hot and cold food and is a real game-changer for food businesses looking to move towards a more ethical and sustainable future.
And not only are these items making use of a waste product, reducing the demand for plastic throwaway packaging, but they are also 100% compostable. That means that after use, they can simply be washed and then added to your compost heap or popped in your food waste caddy if your local authority provides a food waste collection service. Even if you don’t have space to compost at home and you have to put these items in your bin, you can rest easy knowing that they will quickly break down and will not remain in landfill for hundreds of years like their plastic counterparts.
Another plant-based material used in these new packaging items is palm leaves. These are not harvested for production of the products, but have fallen naturally from the Areca trees of southern India. That means that a useful and sustainable product is being made from something that was once classed as waste.
It’s not just the base materials for these products that are environmentally-friendly. Every aspect of production has been carefully considered to have minimal impact on the environment. That includes water-based and vegetable inks and cellulose-based film for the windows in certain packaging items.
Whether you are a street food producer, an artisan maker or a traditional fast food merchant, we hope that these products will be of interest to you. And even if you are not involved in the fast food industry, we hope this blog post, and the product ranges themselves, will be of interest to you. Armed with knowledge of what is available you’ll be in a great position to suggest to your favourite takeaway restaurants or providers that they might want to consider switching to more environmentally-friendly packaging.