A new start-up company in Germany has just begun selling their pressed leaf packaging and serving ware to the public. Beginning from a vision to create completely sustainable and biodegradable outdoor tableware in response to plastic waste pollution caused by packaging, the company has spent a number of years prototyping their product until they came up with a disposable material fabricated entirely out of leaves.
From a kickstarter beginning, Leaf Republic has now developed a whole series of packaging and tableware made using pressing machines to sandwich a middle layer of leaf paper between two layers of actual leaves (these are stitched together with palm leaf fibres). No plastics, adhesives, chemicals or additives of any kind are added to the product. The materials are pressed together in a custom made mould and the end product is both waterproof and durable, but also natural and biodegradable.
In addition, the leaves used by Leaf Republic are sourced from a wild creeper plant collected by villagers in Asia and South America. This helps to provide some opportunities for people in these local communities.
“There has always been packaging and there always will be. […] The packaging market has an impressive size all over the world – and now it is time to revolutionize it.” –Leaf Republic
Apart from developing these biodegradable products, the company sees itself as a campaigning organisation, raising awareness for sustainable packaging and shifting dependency on oil-based plastics in our daily lives towards more sustainable alternatives.
“We want to protect our environment and use its limited resources in a different way” –Leaf Republic
If the company has one motto which defines what it is trying to achieve it would be:
“Because we spend only a brief moment on this world.”
In keeping with this motto and, indeed, our impact on this world, Leaf Republic’s products last only 28 days before degrading back into nature, compared with an estimated 730,000 days for a comparable Styrofoam plate.
More information about Leaf Republic can be found, here.
Their kickstarter page is, here.