Making our Cups More Sustainable

Over the past year, we’ve poured hours of research, thought and discussion into the world of takeaway packaging: are we as sustainable as we can be?

Our first aim with waste is to reduce it at the beginning, not to think about what we do with it at the end. We invest a lot into everything that we make, in particular our ingredients and our bakers’ time, and as such, we don’t want to waste a thing.

So, are we leading the charge with the most sustainable packaging?

This year has been a good one; from switching from plastic to paper straws to buying biodegradable disposable cutlery made of potato starch, we’ve made some good improvements, made possible by developments in the packaging industry.

But by far, the most exciting development for us has also been the hardest to crack: coffee cups.

Almost all takeaway coffee cups in the UK fall into two categories – neither of which are getting recycled in everyday practice. There are cups with the traditional polyethylene plastic (PE) lining, and cups with a Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) lining, the latter being made from genetically modified (GMO) corn and compostable above 50°C. Both options are *technically* recyclable, but unfortunately most end up in landfills rather than being recycled due to the lack of specialist recycling plants in the UK.

Recently we came across a cup which is new to the market. It’s lined with BioPBS which is made from sugar cane waste and is biodegradable and compostable at room temperature. Being made from sugar cane waste, edible food crop is not sacrificed in the manufacture process. We’re proud to be introducing BioPBS cups in all of our bakeries this September.

We love talking about packaging – and all things that help make us better – so get in touch for a chat or to find out more, including what we do with our surplus food at the end of every day. breadheads@gailsbread.co.uk

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