Why Palm leaf
& Why we do what we do
Leef was founded out of a deep need to make modern society more sustainable and to combat the ever-increasing mountains of plastic waste. We cannot imagine modern society without disposable products. We realize that we can't restructure society easily, but we can provide a product that will move society towards more sustainability in its patterns of consumption. Sustainability doesn't necessarily have to be our customers’ main concern because our plates and bowls made from palm leaves, are also far ahead of conventional disposable plastic tableware in terms of appearance, feel and stability.
Apart from palm leaf, other compostable materials are available for the production of sustainable disposable tableware. These all have a common disadvantage: their production requires very large amounts of energy and resources. Another drawback that these materials share, is that in reality, they are often difficult to compost. Although they are based on renewable raw materials, they need more time to compost than the cycle of an industrial composting plant. They therefore have to be filtered out of the plant and incinerated at the end of their life.
Why Palm Leaf
Palm leaf is different! It is nothing more than the leaf of an Areca palm that has fallen naturally to the ground. The material, therefore, does not have to be separately produced. It is taken from nature, according to the principle of borrowing, transformed a little and directly returned to it after use. This is called the Cradle to Cradle cycle. In our opinion, only products that are manufactured and processed according to this approach, are truly sustainable. That is why our hearts beat for palm leaf.
Through our Leef Unlimited (LU) division, we offer plates with rainforest protection: Each plate protects one square meter of endangered rainforest. With our non-profit project "Leef <3 Events" we particularly help events to reduce plastic waste through using our palm leaf plates to precious rainforest for future generations. This is our way, leaf by leaf.
SELLINGPOINTS with which we
Palm leaf compared to other sustainable packaging
|Material||Dried palm leaf||Sugarcane mash||Synthesized from corn or potato starch||Wood fibres|
|Production||Drying, pressing and cutting of naturally fallen Areca palm leaves||By-product of sugar cane production. Similar to paper production||Made from lactic acid molecules||Physical and chemical treatment of sawdust|
|Other Uses||None||Insulation material, Chemical industry, heating media||Similar to conventional plastics: foils, composites, 3D printing||Countless|
|Formability||Restricted due to its natural shape||Unrestricted||Unrestricted||Unrestricted|
|Aesthetic||Attractive, woody with grains||Neutral, white-beige, similar to paper. Classic disposable feeling||Similar to conventional plastic||Classic disposable feeling|
|Environmental footprint||Minimal, as it is agricultural waste||Average, as use of an agricultural by-product but very water intensive (similar to paper production)||Critical (Intensive farming, intensive usage of agricultural area)||Critical (wood and water intensive, often coated with plastic or PLA)|
|CO2 balance||Minimal to neutral depending on disposal, because even when burned, only the CO2 that was in the leaf is released (shipping has been compensated for)||No reliable data available as variable depending on context||No reliable data available as variable depending on context (according to manufacturer approx. 500 kg CO2 per ton) 2||No reliable data available (according to online comparison approx. 676 kg CO2 per ton) 3|
|Regionality||Not applicable (country of origin: India)||Not applicable (Origin: tropics and subtropics, processing mainly in China)||Possible, but very seldom (origin of raw materials usually USA, processing mainly in China)||Partially|
|Heat resistance||Until 180°C (30 Minuten)||Until 120°C||PLA until 40°C/CPLA until 85°C||Limited, depending on material thickness|
|Fluid resistance||Many hours||Very limited (depending on coating & material thickness)||Permanent||Very limited (depending on coating & material thickness)|
|Compostability||Naturally compostable||Only industrial composting plants||Only industrial composting plants and here very limited||Predominantly not compostable because of coating|
1 From this date on. 06/2019, so far 373kg CO2 /Tonne