Paper Round

Solution: Compostable sorting line. Owner: Paper Round. Strategy: Recycling.

Zoomed in on green gardening gloves holding a wedding fork over a pile of compost

Description

A partnership between Paper Round and Vegware.

Vegware produces compostable cutlery and cups. Paper Round transforms these, along with residue food, into quality compost within seven weeks.

The process works as follows:

  1. Paper Round sets up bins in cafés and restaurants to collect Vegware products.
  2. Paper Round’s trucks collect the packaging products.
  3. Products go through sorting and quality control.
  4. Non-compostable items are removed.
  5. Compostable items are sent to an in-vessel composting facility.
  6. The output is compost for agricultural and landscaping purposes.

Location

London, Brighton, and Sussex.

Scale

Initial pilots collected waste from around 12 London sites.

Potential circular economy impact

This initiative solves two challenges:

  1. Difficulty recycling contaminated takeaway packaging.
  2. Sorting compostable packaging in a separate stream from non-compostable packaging. This is not possible in conventional sorting centres. As a result, compostable packaging typically contaminates the recycling stream.

This solution provides a holistic circular alternative to plastic takeaway packaging. The packaging is both compostable and can be treated along with residue food. It is also collected, sorted and composted. The output is compost that is sold and used in agriculture.

What’s involved?

People: Staff to manage bins; operatives for collection, sorting, quality control and composting; farmers to receive/buy compost.

Resources: Vegware packaging; bins; collection trucks; sorting and composting facilities.

Technology: Sorting facility (incl. sorting conveyor belt); manual picking platforms; bin lifts; static compactor; in-vessel composting facility.

Implementation: Bin installation; collection; quality controls; sending waste to sorting facility; compacting sorted waste; sending compacted waste to composting facility; composting waste; establishing relationship with farmers.

More information

Paper Round and Vegware partnership website