On Thursday 15th Jan 2019, The Future Economy Network hosted an event on waste and resources entitled ‘Getting a LITTER bit tired of poor Resource Management?’. The event took place at The Create Centre in Bristol and attracted a varied audience comprising sustainability and waste professionals, food distributors, food retailers and innovation consultants amongst others.
Fruit, pastries and a much-needed early morning coffee were followed by Paul Roberts, Sustainability Operations Manager at the University of the West of England (sponsors of this event) kicking off the morning’s topic of discussion. Paul gave an overview of the global resource issue, highlighting for example that 350million tonnes of plastic per year are produced globally and the importance of the Waste Hierarchy. He put forward the rationale behind businesses reducing their waste streams before highlighting the various resource initiatives that UWE are undertaking in their operations (See here for further details).
We then welcomed network subscribers, Resource Futures. Resource Futures work with clients across the private, public and non-profit sectors to enable the positive management of material resources. Consultant, Peter Wills gave an overview of the type of work Resource Futures are currently involved in and stressed the importance of measuring waste and resources in order to implement change.
Network subscribers, Collecteco were then invited to speak. Managing Director, Steve Sliney highlighted the huge waste in office equipment that occur, often when firms move premises. Collecteco work with businesses and other organisations to donate such reusable furniture, equipment and materials to good causes, including charities, schools, voluntary groups and other not for profits. They do not send anything to landfill and last year they donated 1500 items! If you have any equipment you would like to donate, please get in touch.
Recent subscribers to the Network, Vegware then spoke about their plant-based, compostable catering disposables, and new composting collection service in the Bristol area. Their plant-based catering disposables are made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials, and can all be commercially composted with food waste where accepted. Lucy Frankel, Communications Director highlighted that their products are a pragmatic response to market demand and are often used alongside initiatives that encourage re-use. Her presentation gave a detailed update on how Vegware’s products access various forms of composting around the UK.
Last but not least, we heard from Charlotte Stamper, Renewables and Bioresources Manager at GENeco. GENeco is a food waste management and renewable energy company committed to offering customers innovative, cost effective and sustainable solutions. Charlotte spoke about GENeco’s anaerobic digestion plant. She explained that the biogas produced can either be injected into the grid, used as biofertilisers or used to power their Bio-Bee, a refuse truck that collects food waste.
The event ended with a some lively networking over the remaining fruit and pastries with waste from the event being recycled!
We would like to offer sincere thanks to all of our speakers and to Network subscribers, UWE for sponsoring the event. Also, a huge thank you to all attendees – we hope you found it an interesting event and came away with some useful insights/collaborations. If you could please complete the feedback form sent to you, it would be very much appreciated.