Bettavend Backs World War on Waste

Bettavend Backs World War on Waste

It’s official—as people and industries become more eco-aware, they actively support and encourage recycling initiatives in a united global war on waste, with an emphasis on plastic.

According to a recent survey, In numbers: the UK public's attitudes towards recycling, over 2,000 UK adults were quizzed ‘on attitudes across a spectrum of questions relating to packaging, recycling and the circular economy.’

The results are revealing:

84% want collection costs covered by the end-user business
49% believe manufacturers and producers have a responsibility to improve packaging
81% are satisfied with council recycling systems
56% consider sustainability when purchasing products
67% would be swayed by ‘eco-labels’

This positive trend has obvious ramifications for the vending industry and for businesses that use vending services, in which the provision of convenient refreshments is central to their operation. 

But first, a warning from Peter Goodwin, Co-Founder of Simply Cups and co-cre8

Actions speak louder than words
In the July 2019 issue of Packaging News, Peter voices his concerns about the trend for eco-showboating—"performing in an ostentatiously sensational manner calculated to draw attention and show off.’ In other words, all talk and no do, as illustrated in the fallout from the 2019 Glastonbury Festival:

“For all the well intentioned ‘plastic free’ claims and the appearance of Sir David Attenborough on stage to underpin credibility, you can’t help but think that he had an element of regret when reading through the papers the following week.

“Not only did the event drastically fall short of its ‘plastic free’ ambition, but the learned words of one of the most pre-eminent advocates of sustainability had been forgotten in goldfish-like fashion as the mass exodus was characterized by an overwhelming lack of responsibility to clean up after themselves.”

Problem awareness
As mentioned, major public figures such as David Attenborough are driving public awareness and pro-active support of the war on waste, as an article in Global Cause reveals: 

“There is no doubt that human beings are having a profound impact on the marine environment. From pollution to climate change to overfishing, we are gradually eroding away at the health of our oceans.

“How we tackle these threats is a difficult but important question. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer, but I do take heart in the fact that there are a lot of people out there working on ways that we can deal with plastic waste. It won’t be easy by any means, but as long as we keep building on the momentum, we have gained then I am hopeful we can make progress.”

Sir David refers to a growing rank of climate, wildlife and environmental activists ranging from world leaders to established organisations such as Greenpeace and inspirational teens such as “I’m doing this because you adults are shitting on my future” Greta Thunberg and “The greatest danger to our future is apathy” Bella Lack, both of whom are galvanising our youth into taking action in the face of adult ignorance and/or indifference to the imminent destruction of our planet and future generations.

Vending and the rise of paper cups—sustainability in action
A big step in vending’s war on waste is the switch from single-use plastic cups to recyclable paper cups, which cuts waste and reduces our carbon footprint.

A Vending International, July 2019 article reveals that paper cups have the lowest carbon footprint and recycling lowers it further by 54%, the result of a life cycle analysis commissioned by Huhtamaki and the Finnish paper board manufacturer Stora Enso. Carried out in 2018—2019 by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland it surveyed the full carbon footprint of different types of cups used for coffee.

“In many everyday uses, paper cups have the lowest carbon footprint, and they offer better food safety – they are always hygienic. Overall, the carbon footprint of a paper cup is small compared to the food itself. For example, for a take-away latte, paper cup accounts only for 4% of the climate impact. The remaining 96 % is coffee and milk production and the energy of making the drink”, says Richard Ali, sustainability director for Huhtamaki Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania

We are not eco-showboaters. We actively seek out sustainable products and practices as they are introduced:
# 1: Influencing consumer behaviour 
Operations Manager, Ben West, believes that vending must not eco-showboat but step up to the waste challenge:

““It’s clear that any change in the right direction is a good thing; however, an across-the-board ban on PET plastics or paper coffee cups may not always be the best option. We have already been approached by a number of clients who have been seeking alternatives to PET plastics. We have been able to present some with suitable alternatives. However many, after proper discussion, have decided that appropriate and effective recycling management is the way forward, and to ensure that the end consumer takes responsibility for the correct disposal of all of their waste, not just a plastic bottle. If we can educate consumers in effective waste management techniques, that amongst big business and facilities management teams have been mainstream for a while now, we can tackle the environmental impact of our consumer habits on a macro level. With appropriate education our customers could even impact the waste habits of their staff when they’re not even at work. Surely that’s got to be better than a knee-jerk decision to ban plastics altogether. “

# 2: Behaviour-based solutions
Bettavend embraces the use of recyclable products, from cups to water cartridges and water cooler systems:

CUPcycling and The Solent Cup Recycling Project: Initiatives that collect and recycle cups into useful products, thereby bypassing landfill and incineration facilities .

All our paper and plastic cups are recyclable: High quality and printed using environmentally friendly water-based inks.

Recycling used water cartridges: In conjunction with BRITA we recycle 100% of the used water cartridges from our vending systems. 

Water coolers: We advocate installing water coolers rather than stock bottled water. Although the bottles are recyclable, millions continue to end up in landfill via thoughtless consumers. 

# 3. Addressing the bigger picture

Our holistic eco-approach also embraces sustainable sourcing and support

Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certification: We source products only from growers/suppliers that meet rigorous environmental and social standards in sustainable land use and responsible business practices
The Point Foundation: We support this charity that invests in education for vulnerable African children and youth

Vending must respond to the war on waste
By responsible sourcing and provision of supplies and services, vending will help pave the way to a healthier planet and future for everything that lives on it, as Peter Goodwin says:

“…many of us are actually seeking… not for a ‘plastic free’ world, but one in which systems are in place to ensure responsible use – recovering post-consumer to retain the commercial value of the material and meaning that no social or environmental damage ensues.

“If at the same time we can also make it simple and believable for consumers to fully engage and support this common goal, then we can deliver real tangible benefit for businesses, society and the planet and firmly send back eco-showboating from whence it came.”

Don’t eco-showboat—join us in the World War on Waste. Contact us for further information on our sustainable vending systems and supplies.

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