Our Commitment to Sustainability

Plastic may not be fantastic but it does have a role to play in moving towards a more sustainable future. Using plastic in the right way is key to transitioning seamlessly towards better waste management. The team at Cema Vending want to take this opportunity to explain our commitment to sustainability, and how it serves not only our customers but also the planet too.

One number can make all the difference

If you look at any plastic item, somewhere you’ll find a number embossed on it. In the case of plastic cups, that number is usually 6. This means it’s currently non-recyclable. However, things are changing. We’ve spoken to Nigel Cannon at Berry Superfos where they have a new plastic cup, stamped with a 5. This means that they are recyclable. You just have to make sure you choose the right bin!

These plastic cups are actually a more environmentally-friendly choice than most paper cups. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, very few paper cups are actually pure paper. They’re usually a combination of a paper outer and a plastic liner.

Even if the paper and plastic are both recyclable individually, putting them together as a composite makes them extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recycle. Technically it may be possible and some manufacturers do mark products with a recyclable symbol for this reason. In reality, however, these products typically end up in landfills due to a lack of recycling facilities.

Secondly, a lot of paper cups are printed for branding/marketing purposes. This may be a convenient and eye-catching way of spreading a message. The problem is that this ink has to be removed as part of the recycling process. This adds to the environmental footprint of the recycling process.

Moving away from plastics

Of course, the world does still need to move away from its current reliance on single-use plastics. This is why we’re actively working on promoting alternatives. We have a range of bamboo cups from Ecoffee Cup available to buy from us.

Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to plastic. In addition to being biodegradable and compostable, bamboo is highly renewable, antibacterial and antifungal. As a bonus, it’s also very light and robust. It’s therefore little wonder that bamboo looks set to take over a lot of the roles plastic currently plays.

Encouraging recycling

While the move away from single-use plastics is still in progress, it’s important to dispose of existing plastic as sustainably as possible. Here are Cema Vending, we’re actively working to encourage this.

For example, we’re able to provide our customers with recycling bins made of cardboard. This gives our customers an easy and sustainable way to separate out the cups they use so that they can be properly recycled. It also makes life easier for people at recycling plants as the sorting is already done.

We’re also working on a project to recycle confectionary and/or crisp wrappers to raise money for charity. This is an especially exciting prospect for us since it’s a way of supporting two very important causes at once. Watch this space for more information on this project!

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