Vegware set us up with Viridor to collect and compost all of our food waste and used compostable packaging, Vegware also sent hands-on recycling support in the form of Eilidh and Sarah, who cheerfully (wo)manned the bins. All of our food traders were more than happy to get on board, using only compostable packaging the whole weekend.
The result? Very low contamination rates, and a fantastic overall recycling rate of 72% - particularly impressive considering the average recycling rate for UK events is only 15%! 680kg of used packaging and food waste was sent to Viridor’s nearby composting facility, rather than incineration or landfill. In less than 12 weeks, it’ll be compost for local farmers.
All of the compostable packaging is made from plants, not plastic. It’s designed to be recycled with food waste, meaning that no separation or cleaning of the food packaging was necessary. The renewable packaging materials used at the Spring Food Fair had 910kg less embodied carbon than conventional plastic-based packaging, and used 218kg of recycled content.
Hugh’s War on Waste caused a stir earlier this year when it revealed that only 1 of every 400 disposable coffee cups in the UK actually gets recycled – with the rest of the 7 million used every day going to incineration or landfill.
Look out for a case study film showing how it all worked – hopefully what we have learnt at the Spring Food Fair can be a blueprint for future foodie events.
Images courtesy of Vegware and Richard Griffith, Viridor