Technical information and product details:
The term biodegradable
means that the material will degrade, or break down, when in contact
with naturally occurring microorganisms. A biodegradable material does not
necessarily completely break down in a composting situation in any
A compostable plastic is "capable
of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an
available program, such that the plastic is not visually
distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic
compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable
materials (e.g. cellulose). and leaves no toxic residue." This
illustrates how a material labeled compostable,
biodegrade in a certain
period of time. Additionally, in
order to be labeled compostable, a
1. Biodegrade - break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass at the
same rate as cellulose (paper).
2. Disintegrate - the material must be indistinguishable in the
compost, not visible, and not needed to be screened out.
3. Eco-toxicity - the biodegradation does not produce any toxic
material and the compost can support plant growth.
The material is CPLA, crysatllized
Poly Lactic Acid which is derived from corn and made by Ingeo, a
division of Cargill-Dow. The cutlery is certified compostable.
Sugarcane Fiber Tableware:
The material, bagasse, is a byproduct of sugar refining. The
bagasse is taken to a pulp mill where it is cleaned and
processed into usable pulp for making products like plates and
The pulped products are then trimmed, dried, UV
sterilized, and packaged. The products are produced according to
FDA standards for food service use in the US.
PLA stands for Poly Lactic Acid and is a plastic made from
corn. The material, called NatureWorks was developed by
Cargill Dow, and is available for use as a petroleum plastic substitute
for many products. PLA is temperature sensitive, and is only
useful for cold or luke-warm foods. Things like salads, cold
drinks, and cold sandwiches are ideal for PLA containers. PLA
containers are certified compostable by BPI.
We source our paper from forests that are certified to be
harvested sustainably by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The
coating applied to the paperboard is made from PLA as described
above. We take large sheets of the paperboard and print 12 cups
per sheet. The printed sheets are then fed through a die cutter
to make the blanks for the cup machines. The blanks (sidewalls)
are then fed into our machines which seal the sides, press a bottom
circle into the cup, seal the bottom by knurling, and then curl the
top. We have three machines, one for 12, 16, and 20 oz. We
have extensive quality control checks including testing one out of
every 100 cups during production with test water of
180 degrees F or higher.
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