A German kickstarter by Leaf Republic is on their way to producing biodegradable tableware to compete with troublesome plastics. These plates are made entirely of leaves. After many years of designing, prototyping and testing, they are finally ready to open them up to the world.
They state on their website, “This is not only about outdoor tableware. It is about food packaging. It is about preventing plastic waste. It is about preventing trees from being cut for paper production. It is about the next generations.”
And plastics are a big problem in our environment and in our oceans.
Petroleum-based plastics don’t decompose the same way organic material does. Wood, grass and food scraps undergo a process known as biodegradation when they’re buried, which is a fancy way of saying they’re transformed by bacteria in the soil into other useful compounds. But bacteria won’t nibble on plastics. When given a dinner of plastic bags and bottles the one-celled gluttons will skip a meal entirely.
Instead, plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces over a long period of time. They become micro plastics, a term for tiny bits of old plastics that still inhabit our world just about anywhere trash may wind up. Not only can they still cause problems by being eaten by animals, they are nearly impossible to find and clean up at that scale.
Less than a year ago, the Washington Post reported half the sea turtles in the world have consumed plastics. Much the same can be said for many types of wildlife. I’ve seen some of it first hand.
These leaf plates bring a new option to the table. We can’t wait to purchase them. How about you?
To learn more, visit the Leaf Kickstarter page.
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