Emma O
Emma O
Mar 20, 2019 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Could your business be greener?

Are you wondering how your products or supplies can be more sustainable?

Does it fill you with thoughts of expense?

Using sustainable supplies is more affordable than you might think.

While Costa is making green steps to become the UK’s first coffee provider to recycle up to 500 million cups a year by the year 2020, you can take similar action.

How it works with Costa is this: the business will pay £70 to waste collectors for every tonne of cups that are recycled — equivalent to a total of 83,000 cups.

Recycled cups will be transported by Costa’s partner, Veolia, to the recycling plant, helping cut down on the vast number of cups ending up in landfill sites.

Costa states it is working hard to come up with a cup solution that means it will be more easily recyclable. While most of the cup is made of card, cups have an added layer of polyethylene, a type of plastic, which helps to strengthen the cup. However, this has meant that many cups go to landfill, adding to ever-growing piles of waste.

The scheme is an add-on to Costa’s customer incentive offering a 25p discount for anyone who reuses their coffee cup — of any brand. This scheme has become very popular with customers — but there’s still room to grow.

Wondering how you can do something similar?

Costa’s green ambition to reduce cups going to landfill is inspiring other hospitality and catering businesses to take similar action.

Smaller businesses and start-ups believe it’s too costly to introduce sustainable products or supplies, and while it may be slightly more costly,

There’s a whole hidden world of suppliers offering sustainable items to businesses, and it seems that few businesses know who they are.

Here’s a little guide to some B2B sustainable suppliers in the UK:


VegWare is a B2B supplier for caterers providing plant-based plastic all types of food trays, containers and hot drinks cups. All of its products are made from a mix of trees, sugar cane and corn. To ensure items are compostable in a short space of time, it also provides a way for items to be taken to its industrial compost sites based a wide variety of sites across the UK. For more info, visit here.

RR Packaging

As well as using plant-based plastics, RR Packaging uses a range of other materials to make its catering supplies — everything from recycled paper and corrugated board — even limestone!

It uses these compostable materials to make its range of bowls, pots, containers, cups and napkins, all at reasonable prices. All of their products can be tailored to your brand, too! You can find these guys by visiting here.

Catering 24

Introducing its range of biodegradable cups, containers and cutlery, Catering 24 offers a funky range of wholesale catering supplies, suited for one-off events, as well as for regular supplies.


Cornware bases all its tableware and catering supplies on Origo, a bioplastic made from corn starch that’s much easier to break down than conventional plastics. As Origo consists of 70% starch, it means it creates a lot less carbon dioxide once thrown away or incinerated.

Green Man

Offering fully-customisable and generic packaging and containers, Green Man Packaging has been around since 2009 and has proven to be a greener alternative to eco-friendly wholesale supplies. Its fully compostable range is made of 100% plant-based materials, including sugar cane, recycled paper pulp cornstarch.

There’s a range of affordable and sustainable supplies out there that will go towards heightening your brand image and reputation. Improving the eco-friendliness of your supplies can start today.

That’s not to say that alternative materials are without challenges. The structure in place used to ensure materials can be composted effectively is still a challenge that can be much improved, but plastic alternatives are a good start.

Found another way of being eco-friendly in your business? Share this with me below!

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store