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Karina Sudenyte (Wonky Drinks)

Karina Sudenyte won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in January 2017 for her business, Wonky Drinks.
According to WRAP, each year 90,000 tonnes of produce in the UK is sent to landfill. 1 The Soil Association estimates that, in the UK, as much as 20-40% of this is food produce, particularly fruit and vegetables, which is rejected simply because it doesn't look quite right.2
 
However, consumers aren’t as opposed to ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables as some supermarkets might think. Research for global market research company, Mintel, carried out in June 2014 found that 48% of shoppers would buy oddly-shaped fruit or vegetables if they were of good quality.
 
Cardiff-based start-up, Wonky Drinks, is tapping into this growing acceptance of misshapen fruit and vegetables. The business model is simple: Wonky Drinks takes unwanted produce and transforms it into natural juices, which are then packaged into 330ml glass bottles or 5 litre boxes. The result is a business that is both economically and environmentally sustainable; co-founders Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk pay companies 70% of the market price for fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded. Wonky Drinks also estimate that each 5 litre juice box can save over 7kg of produce from going to waste. 
 
In addition, Wonky Drinks’ eco-friendly packaging – made from potato and corn starch which decomposes itself, removing the need for recycling – helps to cut waste by around 60% compared to plastic bottles. This is significant given that generally only around 14% of plastic is recycled.3  
 
You can follow Wonky Drinks on Twitter and Facebook.

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