Why Palm leaf
& Why we do what we do

Our Mission

LEEF was founded out of a deep need to make modern society more sustainable and to fight the ever-growing mountains of plastic waste. It is impossible to imagine today's society without disposable products. We acknowledge that we cannot easily change society, but we can provide it with products that will guide it towards more sustainable consumption habits. Sustainability does not necessarily have to be the main concern of our customers, because our plates and bowls made from palm leaves are also far superior to conventional disposable plastic tableware in terms of appearance, feel and stability.

The Market

Besides palm leaf, other compostable materials are available for the production of sustainable disposable tableware. All these other alternatives to plastic have one common drawback: their production requires very large amounts of energy and resources. Another shortcoming shared by these materials is that they are often in fact difficult to compost. Although they are based on renewable raw materials, they take longer to compost than the cycle of an industrial composting plant and therefore have to be filtered out 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 naturally fallen to the ground. The material does not have to be specially cultivated and processed. It is taken from nature according to the borrowing principle, reshaped a little and returned to it directly after use. This cycle is called cradle-to-cradle. In our opinion, only products that are produced and processed according to this approach are truly sustainable. That is why our heart beats for palm leaf.

Rainforest Conservation

Through our business branch LEEF unlimited (LU) we offer plates with rainforest protection: each plate protects one square metre of endangered rainforest. With our non-profit project "LEEF Events", we support events in reducing plastic waste through the use of our palm leaf plates and at the same time preserve precious rainforest for future generations. This is our way, leaf by leaf, plate by plate.

What makes our products unique

 
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untreated & compostable in 3 months - garden compost or organic waste bin

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fridge, oven & microwave safe (30 min up to 180°C, 2 min at 500W)

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sustainably packed in compostable foil
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resistant & stable, works with all foods - hot, cold, greasy, liquid or solid

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fair & ethical, creates jobs for women in rural India, SA8000 certified

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many applications - BBQ, birthdays, parties, camping, baking, decorating, storage & much more....

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hand washable

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sustainable & only borrowed from nature natural by-product of the areca palm tree, no connection to the palm oil industry
 
 

We turn disposable into circular
...because we borrow leaves, use them and give them back - without chemicals, additives or any detours.

PALM LEAF COMPARED TO OTHER SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING PRODUCTS


Palm leaf Sugarcane/Bagasse PLA/CPLA/PHA Paper
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 1 (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