By Lorrin Windahl.
Eating off a leaf. It’s not a new idea. People from different cultures around the world have been doing it for years. But mass producing a leaf plate. Well, that is a different story entirely. Can it be done? Leaf Republic believes it can. Meet Leaf. The new biodegradable, eco-friendly disposable plate that is made entirely from leaves.
According to their website, the Leaf Republic plates are made in three layers. A waterproof paper layer (made out of leaves of course!) sandwiched between two layers of leaves stitched together with palm leaf fibres. There are no glues or synthetic additives and the plates apparently biodegrade in just 28 days.
After 3 years developing the product, Leaf Republic undertook a very successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, in which they raised €64,000 (€14,000 above their target). The proceeds of the campaign were to aid in the scaling up of their production process. Their aim is to have a fully automated line in which they can meet the high volume demands of disposable tableware.When you stop to consider the amount of single use plates that are thrown into landfill each summer, the impact that these leaf plates could have seems huge. But even when you take away their sustainability credentials, the idea of eating off the leaves seems so right, so natural, so instinctive. Like you have simply pulled the leaf off a tree and used it as a plate. I love this return to nature.
And if the company succeeds with this product, then I think it is proof that a business model with sustainability at its forefront can be profitable.
All images courtesy of Leaf Republic.