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The Environmental Impact of Disposable Coffee Cups

Vending and the Environment: Vending Cups

The issues surrounding the management of waste coffee cups are not new. Coffee shops were the first target, with the government threatening the now-abandoned “latte levy”, an attempt to reduce waste generated. It soon became apparent that the vending industry would fall into this same category.

What are disposable coffee cups made of?

Paper vending cups are lined with a plastic film to make them waterproof. The difficulty in removing this layer has prevented them from being fully recyclable, although some are biodegradable. Plastic cups could be recycled, but there are hurdles to overcome.

There is a great difference between a takeaway cup and a vending cup. Vending cups need to be separated by precision automation to vend reliably. The rim of the cup must fit precisely into the cup mechanism and be robust enough not to be damaged in transport and handling.

Can disposable cups be recycled?

Waste coffee cups are essentially contaminated waste. They are dirty and generally wet, and regrettably, do not amount to a significantly high volume to attract re-processing. For collection of used disposable cups, schemes are in existence, requiring a “membership fee” to cover the cost of collection, but could be deemed too expensive for some businesses.

100% recyclable coffee cups?

New news is that one paper cup supplier is on the way to achieving a vending cup with a waterproof lining made from plant starch, enabling the paper cup to be disposed of in the waste paper bin, and avoiding the need for expensive recycling schemes. Furthermore, a plant starch sip lid is also on the horizon.

Avoiding the use of disposable cups: reducing environmental impact at work

If you’re a facilities manager, or a business owner looking to reduce the environmental impact of your workplace, there are solutions for you from going paperless to reconsidering your vending options. In the past few months, two of our clients have opted to renew their vending equipment, and as part of the review process, they have decided to use china mugs rather than disposable cups.

Dishwashers have been installed and staff have been encouraged to participate in “good housekeeping” to ensure that mugs are used hygienically. Whilst this seems to be working for these clients, it may not be a suitable solution in many busy work environments.

So, there is clearly no single solution to reducing the amount of plastic we use and improving the amount we recycle. Recycling is not currently widely available or possible, but compositable cups are in development. Cup-free vending creates waste reduction, but requires washing facilities and good housekeeping.

Awareness has never been greater and pressure from public and government is driving research and innovation. This can only be a good thing for the health of our planet. Westways Vending is committed to keeping abreast of environmental initiatives in our industry, with a view to offering our clients whichever solution best fits their circumstances.

For more news on these topics and more from Westways Vending follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit our blog.

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated.

Data is Key

Data is Key

The more observant of our customers may have noticed our operators wearing a small device on a lanyard around their necks recently. This is a Datakey, the latest development in our use of Vendmanger software to underpin our fully managed vending service in Sussex, Kent and Surrey.

Upon arrival at a site, the data key is plugged into each vending machine, and accurate information is relayed via Bluetooth to the operator’s Android smartphone. This information includes vend counts; a full breakdown of the sales through the machine and cash reconciliation. It is transmitted directly to our server, allowing us access to the information as soon as the vending operator has completed the visit.

So how do we use this data?

Reactive and proactive replenishment schedules

We carefully analyse the data using Vendmanager to monitor product sales, trends and seasonal variations; and to identify products which maybe selling out before we attend to re-stock. The replenishment schedules we create are based on this information, and because it is in real time, we are able to make changes to our service based on how the vending machines in Sussex, Kent and Surrey are being used.

Accurate invoicing

Westways Vending provides subsidised hot drinks vending machines and snack machines. The accuracy of our data ensures that invoicing is timely and accurate, providing our clients with an uncomplicated refreshment system for their workforce or customers.

Providing reports to customers

Managing our business carefully is important to us. Westways Vending is one of the leading regional vending companies in the South East in providing CQUIN* compliant vending to the NHS. Our datakey information enables us to provide them with regular reports and feedback about sales through their machines, which they are required to collate.

We have not been shy in talking about this, and as a result a number of our public and private sector clients have adopted a similar product range to the NHS. They also provide their staff and clients with a selection of refreshments including healthier choices, with the option to receive accurate data on sales as required.

Informing our purchasing

The biggest development to the drinks market has been the introduction of the sugar tax on 5th April this year. We have used our data to interpret actual sales and monitor whether people are purchasing fewer sugary drinks.

Coca Cola cans are still our highest seller, closely followed by Coca Cola bottles, both of which are up to 15p more expensive than the low calorie equivalent. Red Bull cans are also one of our top sellers also subject to the sugar tax. Sales remain undiminished, but I guess if you need an energy boost, what’s a few pence? Bottled water, the healthiest option available is only about 1 in 8 of our vended sales.

In time our data will tell if tax and guidelines will change consumer’s buying habits, in the meantime our data enables us to maintain stocks of the snacks, confectionary and cold drinks our customers like to purchase.

In summary, our data is key to providing a tailored, fully-managed vending service to our clients throughout the South East. More information about our fully managed vending service, click here.

*CQUIN is a set of wide-ranging guidelines which the NHS has to follow. They include nutritional guidelines governing the sugar content and calorific value of snacks, confectionery and cold drinks which are permitted in NHS based vending machines.

What is NHS CQUIN Compliant Vending 2018/2019?-Healthy Vending

Staff Illness costing the NHS 2.4 billion

In 2015 Public Health England found that cost of staff absence to be 2.4 billion CQUIN, the “Commissioning for Quality and Innovation,” is a scheme that rewards Hospitals for improving working conditions with financial awards, and its current focus is on the widespread implementation of healthy food within all hospitals around the UK.

The focus since 2015 has been to reduce staff absence and increase staff engagement, through the provision of healthy food and drink both to staff and patients.

Therefore, in order to be CQUIN compliant suppliers to the NHS must follow set standards in respect of food calories and sugar levels in both snack and drinks, within food outlets vending machines on NHS premises.

Providing CQUIN Compliant Vending 2018/2019

In 2018/19 the guidelines for CQUIN compliance for vending machines are:
  • 80% of drinks must contain less than 5g of sugar per 100ml (find out more about healthy vending and the sugar tax)
  • All confectionery must not exceed 250 calories.
  • All savoury snacks must not exceed 30g pack size.

What do Westways Vending Offer?

At Westways Vending we supply CQUIN compliant vending machines that not only meet the NHS standards, but also offer options for a variety of dietary requirements including dairy free, gluten free, low sugar, and low fat.

Our healthy snack range can be tailored to suit both you and your employees’ individual needs, offering a range of refreshments in your vending machine which is compliant with the CQUIN standard.

Westways Vending is an independent vending service. Our product range is not restricted to particular manufactures; therefore, we can offer a selection of popular products whilst still allowing your vending machines to be CQUIN compliant. Our fizzy drink options include flavoured and sparkling water, or for those who love Pepsi, we also offer the new Pepsi Max range. Customers who prefer fruit drinks and juices are also catered for as well as those who would like to opt for a zero-calorie offering. Westways Vending ensures that 80% of drinks contain only 5g sugar per 100ml and that 20% of cold drinks that contain sugar are a maximum size of 330ml. Most popular chocolate bars are manufactured to below 250g, in addition we also include cereal bars, popcorn, fruit and nut options in our CQUIN compliant vending machines.

Both Healthy Snack Vending Machines and Healthy Drink Machines are suitable to supply within your NHS building, or if you are looking for a Healthy Vending Service within your School, Sports Centre or Building.

CQUIN Compliant Vending Doesn’t Just Have to be for Hospitals:

Westways Vending not only want to see our CQUIN compliant vending machines used in NHS bulding but in a variety of facilities. Some of our business clients have selected our CQUIN compliant planogram to provide healthy options to staff and customers wherever they are. The benefits of offering a healthy vending machine are:
  • Ensuring that everyone is catered for
  • Ensuring that staff and customers fell appreciated and looked after
  • Increasing productivity in the workplace.

Healthy Vending Enquiry

The following sources are referenced in this post: Nivo Group Planet Vending NHS England Food for Life
Can 6 Cups of Coffee Really Decrease Your Chance of Death By 16%_

Can 6 Cups of Coffee Per Day Really Decrease Your Chance of Death By 16%?

Key Takeaways From The 10 Year Coffee Study:

  •  The greatest reduction in death from disease comes from drinking 6-7 cups of coffee a day.
  • It doesn’t matter if you drink Decaf, Instant or Ground.

Can 6 Cups of Coffee Per Day Decrease Your Chance of Death?

A recent scientific study conducted by The National Cancer Institute and The National Institute for Health, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association International Medicine, revealed that six cups of coffee per day could decrease the risk of early death by up to 16%.

Researchers have suggested the number of cups of coffee you consume appears to be related to the protection you receive from early death. The results suggest optimum protection comes from consuming 6 cups of coffee a day, which can lead to a 16% reduction in early deaths. This reduction however was decreased to 14% when 8 cups were consumed, and showed that while less than 6 cups can be protective, this is to a lesser degree.

The research also showed that it doesn’t matter whether you have your coffee decaf, instant, or fresh, it is the quantity of coffee consumed which has the protective effect.

This large study of over 500,000 participants, who were studied for 10 years between 2006 and 2016, focused on Britons with an average age of 57. The aim of the study was to provide reassurance to coffee drinkers that coffee can be included as part of a healthy balanced diet.

The results of the study suggest that coffee in all forms can be consumed as part of a healthy diet and these findings are further supported by a European-wide study published in 2017. This study also found that coffee was associated with a reduced risk from certain diseases, and the protective benefits were not limited by country.

'6 Cups of Coffee a Day Can Reduce Risk of Early Death by 16%'

More reasons for staff to feel good about their coffee:

Watch Your Caffeine Intake:

Although studies show that coffee is protective, it is important to consider that too much caffeine can have a negative impact on your health. Negative effects of caffeine can be:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Shaking
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Worsened Anxiety
  •  Headaches (Caffeine Effects on Body)

Therefore, this research suggests that making some of those latte’s a decaf, might be a good way to get your coffee fix with all the benefits and none of the nasties.

Provide Coffee & Create a Healthy Workplace with Westways Vending:

Involving a range of healthy drinks and snacks within your workplace could be the path to happy and healthy employees, and this latest study is an excellent example of how offering coffee within your workplace could improve your employee’s health. At Westways Vending, we offer a wide variety of Fully Managed Vending Machines, including those which provide Coffee and Healthy snacks.

We offer a wide range snacks that meet the NHS requirements; these include popcorn, rice cakes, nuts and seeds, fruit bars and baked snacks, all of which are now available in our workplace and public sites too. At Westways Vending, we value our customers and understand that a healthy workplace improves employee morale and productivity.

We provide high quality vending, and our latest models are A++ rated; machines can also be fitted with touch screens which can display nutritional information, providing your employees with greater opportunities to make healthy choices.

To find out more about our fully managed vending services, please explore our site or give our team a call on 0800 195 3170.
5 ways offering coffee in the workplace can increase productivity image

How Can Coffee Make Your Team More Productive?

Coffee is a large part of working life culture, and could be having a positive effect on your employees. This article explains just how your workplace productivity could be improved by offering coffee to your employees. How Can Coffee Make Your Team More Productive

Coffee Creates a Positive Office Culture:

Studies on the effect of coffee have shown that participants who have had caffeine are more positive, outgoing, and more likely to participate in group discussion, than compared to those who have had no caffeine. A recent study, published in Journal of Psychopharmacology, was directly related to coffee within the work environment, asking participants who took part to partake in group work. Participants were either given caffeine or not, and were asked to rate their teamwork experience. Researchers found that those who had caffeine rated not only their own performance in the discussion more positively, but also the performance of the whole group. The participants who had consumed caffeine also had a more positive attitude towards their fellow group members and were more willing to work in the same group again. This shows that coffee may have real benefits for boosting workplace moral and increasing communication.

Improved Health Benefits to Your Employees:

In addition to inducing more positive employees, coffee can also increase wellbeing through health. It has been found that coffee can contribute to good health due to its antioxidant properties, being a source of essential nutrients, and its effect on neurotransmitters. According to the Oxford Journal of Nutrition it has now been shown that that ‘most people get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables… combined.’ Although it should be noted that the antioxidants in coffee are not the same as those in fruit and vegetables and a balanced diet is always the best way to get all the nutrients you need. If you employ individuals who work manually, then the benefits can also be seen in physical health. Studies by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information found that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11-12%, on average.

Essential Energy Boost:

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that makes us sleepy. The caffeine found in coffee blocks this neurotransmitter, therefore keeping your cells running and increasing your energy levels. We then feel the effect of this as an energy boost and are stimulated. It is these chemical reactions occurring in our brains that make coffee such a great drink for boosting workplace productivity.

How A Coffee Vending Machine Could Improve Your workplace.

So as you can see, coffee provides a variety of benefits to help make your team more productive and postitive at work, helping you implement great employee engagement, communication, and teamwork. A coffee Vending Machine at your workplace is a great way to help employees become more productive. At Westways Vending, we offer fully managed Coffee Vending Machines, that are efficient, and affordable, so you can provide coffee for your colleagues effortlessly. No matter what size your business we offer something for everyone. If you would like to know more take a look at our Coffee Vending Machines or contact us today 0800 1953170.
  • Twinings
  • Walkers
  • Starbucks
  • Suchards
  • Nestle
  • Lucozade
  • Mars
  • Nescafe
  • Keurig
  • Kenco
  • Cocacola
  • Britvic
  • DE
  • Cadbury