British Airways have, since Nov '08, been serving Winter Fruit Frangipane dessert on all the airline's World Traveller flights out of London Heathrow. BA is claiming a first for airlines to have a compostable dish onboard and the feedback from passengers and cabin crew has been positive. Brinkers Cakes & Desserts NL manufactures its products in The Netherlands and ships them to the UK where they are then handled by the Gate Gourmet Group, who is responsible for onboard catering. For the coming summer cycle, a chocolate mousse cake will be served in vegasse TM packaging.
Vegasse TM is recognized as an innovative and environmentally friendly food carrier and matches the characteristics of currently used in-flight packaging materials. Peter Davies, in charge of Vertupak's sales to Airlines, is convinced that there will be an extension of the use of compostable dishes from desserts to cold entrees and further to hot meals. "Vegasse is a unique product, as it is ovenable, microwaveable, freezeable and can be sealed after production to ensure no contamination of the contents".
All Vertupak's products are moulded from 'bagasse', which is the waste by-product of the sugar cane refining process. The product range is compostable, recyclable, renewable and sustainable. The vegasse TM range complies with all food packaging regulations and the production facility is fully accredited to BRC/IoP Global standard food packaging.
The product is fully compostable within 3 months, complying with BS EN-13432 compostability accreditation, and can therefore be disposed of by utilising industrial composting facilities. An added advantage is that it produces non-toxic fumes when incinerated at an airport waste processing plant, subsequently contributing to the global reduction of emissions and having a positive impact on the environment. With the introduction of this compostable product, Vertupak has taken the next step towards the future of responsible waste management, which is in line with the company's environmental policies and green initiatives.