Composting with Union of Genius

Union of Genius is Scotland’s first soup café – but that’s not the only thing they’re trailblazing in. They are a long-time customer and have been composting Vegware for almost a decade. 

Founder, Elaine Mason came up with a novel loyalty scheme to ensure that used Vegware was collected, composted and returned to the earth, as intended. Union of Genius’ Full Circle concept gave customers stamps on their loyalty cards, every time they returned the packaging to the café. 

Fast forward to 2023 and Union of Genius now have three sites. In addition to their café, they have a kiosk on Calton Hill, and Dumbo the Soup Van in George Square. When their kiosk on Calton Hill opened, we paid them a visit. Check out our reel below. 

Not everything has been plain sailing, however. Like many businesses, rising energy prices have posed difficulties.  Faced with these rising costs, Union of Genius packed away the porcelain and moved exclusively to Vegware. It was more cost-effective for them to use and compost their Vegware than it was to operate a dish-washing foodservice. 


If you’re in Edinburgh and looking for a great spot for lunch. We fully recommend Union of Genius

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