Hundreds of different fibrous plants can be manufactured into alternatives to tree-based paper products. Our main source of plant fiber is wheat straw, though it is occasionally supplemented by sugarcane and bamboo. In many agricultural processes, wheat straw is treated merely as the agricultural waste that remains after grain or juice is extracted. It is commonly thrown away or burned. Straw is a valuable resource that can be fashioned into disposable products like plates, take-out containers, bowls, etc. Using plant fiber protects forests, uses less energy and fewer toxic chemicals than paper alternatives, provides a new revenue for farmers, and is a renewable and sustainable resource.
Our manufacturer provides a line of hot cups and bowls made from paper. While we believe that the best way to protect the world’s forest is to reduce consumption of tree-based products, many of our customers want products which cannot yet be replicated by plant-fiber. Our paper products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council guaranteeing the responsible management of the forests.
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
PLA is a bio-based plastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots, or sugarcane. Our PLA products are made from a type of PLA called Ingeo™. To make Ingeo™, sugar from plants is turned into lactic acid through fermentation which is converted into polymer. At this stage, it is shaped into pellets which can be transformed into a wide variety of products. Manufacturing Ingeo™ produces 75% fewer greenhouse gasses and uses 50% less non-renewable energy than traditional polymers like PET & polystyrene.