Who we are
Single Use Alternatives was founded by Adrian and Neil; two brothers who are passionate about enjoying the outdoors and caring for the environment. Concerned about the impact single use plastics are having upon the environment, we decided to offer a range of cost effective high quality, alternative products.
To find out more about our products simply browse through our website. If you have any questions we’d love to hear from you: please complete the enquiry form on our contact page.
How does plant-based compostable foodservice packaging work?
Let's take the Vegware box as an example, and contrast against the standard burger box.
Standard burger boxes are generally made from expanded polystyrene, which has great thermal properties and good sturdiness, but very poor eco-credentials. When the hundreds of millions of polystyrene burger boxes are used in the UK each year, they either end up in landfill or in incinerators.
A Vegware burger box is made from Bagasse; a dry, fibrous residue which is left over once sugarcane has been pressed for juice, so not only is it 'tree-free', but it makes great use of hitherto unused food manufacturing waste. The Bagasse is pressed into shape in a high-heat, high-pressure process. The result is a burger box that (like expanded polystyrene) has great thermal properties and good sturdiness, but (unlike expanded polystyrene), GREAT eco-credentials.
What's more, the Vegware boxes made using Bagasse don't trap condensation like plastic, so that whilst your takeaway food will be kept nice and hot, it won't end up soggy when you come to eat it.
UK MPs and academics are calling for ambitious compostable packaging targets, and as only 4% of the 400,000 tonnes of film and flexible plastic packaging used each year in the UK is recycled, takeaway food boxes like Vegware's, which are fully compostable, can be a major part of the solution.
Currently, polystyrene generally isn't recycled because of the food contamination, and because of the product's inherent brittleness. Vegware boxes overcome both of these issues by being able to be composted along with organic food waste - no need for sorting or cleaning.
Vegware boxes and composting
Composting is still a relative newcomer to trade waste, so whilst trade collections aren't yet available everywhere, Vegware are actively changing this through partnerships with the waste sector.
Composting is officially defined as a form of recycling, and it keeps resources in a local region without relying on export. When Vegware boxes are composted, they create a valuable local resource, compost which can be used in agriculture, horticulture and landscaping to nourish soil and improve the soil structure to help grow healthy plants. By using Vegware boxes, businesses are reducing their environmental impact. Even if there's no composting collection in a particular region, the sustainability benefits of using renewable materials instead of finite oil-based resources, still apply.
Because there's no consistent top-down approach in the UK to encourage the phasing out of polystyrene, change will need to come about by businesses and consumers taking ethical choices themselves. The use of Vegware boxes is just one step in the process of closing the loop, and moving towards a circular economy.