Replacing all single-use plastics with plant-based packaging: The Horniman Museum’s Café goes even greener

Brooke Manning (30 July, 2018) Environment

Using plant-based products instead of single-use plastics is the café's latest initiative to go green

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The café at the Horniman Museum and Gardens is no longer be using single-use plastics as of July 1 – instead, their cutlery, coffee cups, takeaway boxes, sandwich wrappers, and straws will be made from a plant-based material.

The Horniman Café will be using a range of nineteen products from Vegware, a company that specialises in plant-based, compostable foodservice packaging.

Vegware’s products are made from polylactic acid (PLA) and plant materials such as recycled sugar cane, all from renewable sources.

PLA takes about 65% less energy to produce and generates 68% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, as opposed to conventional plastics.

Yet, since plant-based packaging is industrially compostable, these products will not break down in the average citizen’s compost bin.

Industrially compostable materials need to be processed in a composting plant, where they are kept at a high temperature for multiple days, and the materials usually take about twelve weeks to break down completely.

Replacing single-use plastics with compostable packaging is the latest move by the Horniman Café to be eco-friendly.

Their other projects include turning food waste into liquid compost, which is then used to fertilise their gardens, as well as using sustainable fish, fair-trade tea and coffee, free-range eggs, and local suppliers for organic and free range meat.

The Horniman Cafe also joined the Refill campaign, offering free tap water refills, as they search for an alternative to bottled water.

The cafe is open 9:30am-5:30pm daily.

100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

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