Leaf Republic: 100% Biodegradable Dishes Made with Leaves

This startup has the alternative to the harmful plastic ware and its pollution of ecosystems: inspired by an ancient Indian technique, Leaf Republic has developed 100% biodegradable leaf-based dishes.


After decades of using it for all kinds of packaging, plastic has ended up flooding the planet. It is time to reduce its impact, and all eyes are on the single-use plastic utensils. Every year, we throw away billions of grocery bags, plates, glasses, cutlery, and plastic straws. In many cases, without hardly having used them. Can disposable and recyclable kitchen utensils be manufactured? Leaf Republic has the answer: dishes made with leaves.

The data is overwhelming. Every year forests are cut down on an area equivalent to that of England, and a mountain of rubbish the size of Mount Everest is produced. How can you stop this destruction of the forests, and this waste?

Leaf Republic is a German company that is committed to the manufacture of dishes, vessels and containers 100% biodegradable. And he has succeeded, creating dishes made only with leaves. And absolutely nothing more.

This idea is not new. In India they have been manufacturing plates with pressed leaves for thousands of years in rural communities. Precisely on a trip to India the CEO of Leaf Republic, Pedram Zolgadrim, was where he discovered this manufacturing technique. But the challenge was not to create these dishes, but to do it on a scale of millions of units, at an affordable price.

After three years of research and development, Leaf Republic has succeeded. It collects millions of leaves that grow three times a year, cleans them and joins them together with palm fibers. This creates panels of leaves that are pressed at a high pressure with different molds, to create different types of plates and vessels.

They do not use any type of glue, plastic, chemical, etc. They are 100% vegetable leaves that resist water and temperatures of up to 90 degrees. The result is a single-use dish with the strength and characteristics of a plastic dish, but 100% biodegradable.

While a dish made with leaves degrades and disappears outdoors in 28 days, a plastic dish takes 730,000 days…

The biodegradable dishes are already on sale in stores like Amazon, with a price of around 50 cents per unit. It is true that they are a bit more expensive than plastic plates, but surely many people would be willing to pay those 50 cents not to throw a plastic plate in the trash.