Huhtamaki, the UK’s leading packaging and disposables manufacturer, is delighted to announce its sponsorship of Sparsholt College Hampshire’s 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden entry. Working in partnership with the College to create a themed garden with a strong environmental message, Huhtamaki hope to both enthuse and educate everyone with the merits of sustainability, composting and waste recycling.
Huhtamaki’s environmentally sustainable BioWare foodservice packaging range has been the key motivation for the garden with the manufacturing process and green credentials inspiring the design and construction; plants for the entry are being grown in compost created from the disposable of BioWare paper cups that have been composted at an open air composting facility in a twelve week process. Elements of the garden design are drawn from the manufacturing process and supply chain of the cups from seedling to disposal. Both the BioWare range and compost will have starring roles at the show in May.
A visit to Huhtamaki’s factory in Gosport informed much of the student’s design for the garden. The production processes, speed and efficiency of the machines and importance of recycling and composting all influenced the students as they collectively came up with creative ideas for the exhibit.
Horticulture lecturer Chris Bird, who is leading the twenty one Extended Diploma students said: “Naturally we are already very environmentally aware and conscientious here at Sparsholt, but through this new partnership with Huhtamaki, our horticulture students have seen how global packaging companies are also playing a significant role in designing and manufacturing future friendly products and disposal.”
It is not just horticulture students who have been involved in the project. Every student and member of staff based at the College’s Sparsholt campus have also been playing their part. Since December last year all hot drinks sold in the College restaurant and bar have been in BioWare paper cups. The cups have been collected and taken off site for composting by local specialists The Woodhorn Group.
The Woodhorn Group shredded the paper cups supplied by the College and mixed them with green and vegetation waste. This was followed by two weeks’ sanitisation with daily checks, followed by 10 weeks’ stabilisation with weekly monitoring, before the final assessments. These final assessments have ensured the compost reached and passed PAS100 certification, the industry standard certification of quality, reliability and performance, as well as achieving a British Standard mark. Most importantly, as well as the compost being used to dress the completed garden, all plants used for the display are to be grown in it, thereby completing the circle.
Huhtamaki’s UK Foodservice Sales and Marketing Director, John Young, remarks: “It is a real honour to be involved in such a prestigious event as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We are very proud of our BioWare products and see sustainability as the key to our future. This project is a fantastic way to illustrate the benefits and importance of recycling and composting and shows how we have managed to ‘close the loop’ by composting our cups, and then using the compost to grow the very plants that will be used to make more cups in the future. By partnering with Sparsholt College Hampshire we are showing that this process is possible even to the very highest standards of horticulture.”
Sparsholt College Hampshire has a long history of RHS Chelsea Flower Show medal success achieving 5 Gold medals, 3 Silver-gilt medals, 4 Silver medals and 3 Bronze medals since 1998.
For further information please visit www.foodservice.huhtamaki.co.uk and www.sparsholt.ac.uk