Dynamic Earth: An Alliance-Vegware Case Study

Who are Dynamic Earth?

Dynamic Earth, a 5-star tourist attraction in the capital of Scotland, is located in the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. Established in 1999, it aims to narrate the history of planet Earth, ranging from its internal mechanisms and the evolution of species to contemporary times and forthcoming challenges.

The Food Chain Café, staff canteen, and corporate events at Dynamic Earth utilise compostable Vegware packaging to reduce their reliance on fossil-based packaging, which they procure through Alliance Scotland. The adoption of these eco-friendly disposables played a significant role in earning them the prestigious gold award for Green Tourism.

In September 2017, the Food Chain Café reached out to Vegware to transition to plant-based compostable catering disposables. With over 200,000 visitors passing through their doors annually, embracing Vegware’s compostable packaging and implementing composting collections proved to be an effective method to divert their waste from ending up in landfills.

Fit into the Food Chain

The Food Chain Café utilises Vegware custom print double wall hot cups to complement the permanent volcano, rainforest, and space exhibits. The arrival of the 8oz space cups coincided with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the grand opening of their new Mission Earth exhibit, which commemorates this significant milestone in history.

The circle of life

Vegware offers Close the Loop, a composting collection service for trade waste, which allows clients to implement a circular economy. The staff at The Food Chain Café were eager to implement composting for their used disposables.

To begin the process, they switched all their disposables to compostable materials. This decision aimed to simplify recycling and reduce waste contamination. Vegware and their distributor partner, Alliance Scotland, conducted a thorough analysis to find suitable alternatives to their existing disposables. Free samples were provided to the catering crew, assisting them in selecting the appropriate packaging for their acclaimed “Taste Our Best” menu.

The café utilises 80L biobags in their internal bins, which are then transferred to outdoor bins on-site. All bins are clearly labelled to distinguish between food waste and compostables, ensuring clarity for the catering and facilities staff regarding the new system.

Within the initial 5 months, Dynamic Earth successfully recycled 1.38 tonnes of compostables through Vegware’s Close the Loop program. This amount is equivalent to over 106,000 8oz double wall cups or the weight of a small hippopotamus. In less than 12 weeks, the composting process generates nutrient-rich compost for Scottish farmers’ fields.

Education for All

Staff training and consumer education, utilising clear visual cues, are essential components of a successful recycling program. Susan Paton mentions that within the Food Chain Café dining and point of purchase areas, they were provided with customised bin signage and posters to inform their visitors.

During Green Week in May 2019, an on-site Vegware Recycling Advisor conducted training sessions for the staff.

The Learning Officers at Dynamic Earth integrate their knowledge of compostables into the centre’s ‘Plastic Smart’ workshops for children. Susan expresses the importance of having plant-based coffee cups to demonstrate to children the efforts being made to reduce plastic pollution. Additionally, they utilize Vegware’s ‘Bin Detective’ activity sheets to educate young recyclers.

Lava-ly Cooperation

Dynamic Earth sources their disposable products from Alliance, their distributor. The Alliance Representative is actively engaged in transitioning to Vegware, assisting in the introduction of their customised line of hot cups. Prompt support for new product inquiries, including same-day responses, includes suggestions and pricing.

Leading the (Milky) Way

Furthermore, apart from the triumph of the cafés, Dynamic Earth’s internal Green Team has introduced various measures throughout the years to promote sustainability within the organisation. These measures include a program that encourages employees to cycle to work, the adoption of environmentally friendly cleaning products, and active participation in the Refill app. By being listed on the app, users are informed that Dynamic Earth offers a complimentary water refill station for the public.

5 Steps to Composting

  1. Switch all catering disposables to compostables.
  2. Find the best recycling solution and label your bins.
  3. Communicate your system
  4. Training & Engagement
  5. Measure & Communicate
Dynamic Earth: An Alliance-Vegware Case Study
Article Name
Dynamic Earth: An Alliance-Vegware Case Study
Vegware have worked with Alliance Scotland to help Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh improve their environmental credentials whilst reducing their waste to landfill.
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Alliance Online
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