The use of disposable plastic cutlery translates into millions of tonnes of single-use plastic every year. Thanks to growing public awareness and the trend towards more sustainability, the demand for compostable alternatives is increasing.
German company Leef has pioneered an innovative method of making plates. It has eliminated plastic waste by producing plates from (non-palm oil) palm leaves grown in mixed plantations in Tamil Nadu, India. Leaves are collected from the ground. The plates are 100% biodegradable.
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After a crowdfunding campaign in 2013, which funded the transport of the first containers of palm leaf plates from India to Germany, the company now offers a very broad product portfolio in Europe in the growing palm leaf sector.
Working with the World Land Trust to buy plots of land, Leef claims that each plate sold protects one square metre of rainforest and saves it from being cleared in the long term. The company also runs a non-profit project, Leef Events, which equips events (including big festivals) with palm leaf dishes.