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Leaf Republic: “Leafing” Behind a Better Environment


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Plastic is arguably the most convenient yet most destructive invention to date. Plastic accounts for over ten percent of our waste. Every year, the average person mindlessly throws away about 185 pounds of plastic, and obviously, this adds up. More than eight million tons of plastic also ends up in the ocean each year (“Plastic”).

Leaf Republic is a German-based company that wants to change the world, starting with our food. Think about it: when we go camping, have barbecues, or parties, we use paper plates and bowls. Leaf Republic is revolutionizing the way we think of paper products. Their products are manufactured in Germany with leaves, water-proof paper, and bio plastic. The product is completely natural, with no additives or colors, and it biodegrades in just 28 days.

They offer a wide variety of biodegradable products, including various sizes of bowls, plates, and platters.

Each product consists of a bio plastic lid and three layers: leaves, water-proof paper, and more leaves.

Pedram Zolgadri and Carolin Fietcher, founded Leaf Republic simply because they wanted to leave behind a better world for their children. In an interview with the company’s PR director, they said that the founders “wanted to hand over an intact and green environment.” The idea hit Zolgadri when he was at a birthday party with his daughter, when he noticed her sitting in a pile of plastic plates. Since then, he’s been looking for a solution to the plastic problem. On a trip to Asia, Zolgadri also discovered that the many of the natives utilized leaves as plates. After about three years of research and design, the final product was introduced to the market.

The leaves are harvested from Asian creepers and sent to the company’s headquarters in Taurkirchen, Germany. The PR Director described the process as follows:

The production takes place near Munich in Germany in a heated pressing machine that we have developed all by ourselves. The main environmental benefit is that we avoid the use of wood and oil. Trees need around 30 years to grow and ordinary pulp can be recycled only five to six times. Our leaves can be harvested up to three times a year and no tree needs to be cut down. Not all of our products will find their way to the compost but to dispose of a paper plate or a plastic cup in waste incineration creates more CO2 compared to the LEAF-products because they are natural, CO2-neutral products. We can measure our present and future success if we calculate the amount of plastics´ packaging which is  replaced by biodegradable one-way dishes and our market share in all relevant markets. Furthermore, the raw materials LEAF-products are collected and processed by local women communities in Asia – we offer fair payments for the leaves which gives those local communities the opportunity of supporting their families and offering them a better life.”

Though the product is still fairly new, the company hopes to introduce their biodegradable goods to supermarkets all over the world in the near future. Leaf Republic promises it’s products will be widely available in the very near future.

Works Cited

“Plastic Oceans Foundation.” Plastic Oceans. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017.

“Home (EN).” Leaf Republic. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017.

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Leaf Republic: “Leafing” Behind a Better Environment