Innovations That Matter

Pressed leaves transformed into disposable dishes

Fashion & Beauty

When it comes to entertaining and special occasions, eco-minded consumers can be torn by two apparently conflicting desires: the need to be green and the easy clean-up made possible by disposable dishes. Thanks to a new innovation from VerTerra, however, that conflict can finally be put to rest. New York-based VerTerra offers a collection of single-use dinnerware including plates, bowls and platters made from pressed fallen leaves. Originally inspired by a technique used in rural India, VerTerra’s dishes are 100 percent renewable and made entirely from compostable plant matter and water, with none of the chemicals, waxes or dyes found in disposable paper and plastic options. VerTerra products are made in South Asia, where it ensures that employees have fair wages, safe working conditions and access to healthcare. After collecting the fallen leaves, the company applies steam, heat and pressure to transform them into products that are durable and versatile, and can be used in the microwave, oven or fridge. They biodegrade naturally in two months. Sold in packs of 10 or 12, VerTerra’s dishes are priced at roughly USD 1 per dish. Not only does VerTerra’s innovation solve a real consumer problem and protect the environment, it’s also a beautiful example of an eco-iconic solution that helps consumers spotlight their “greenness” for all the world to see. As we’ve said before, when it comes to green, subtlety is not a virtue—make it bold, make it different, make it obvious! Spotted by: Claudia Allwood



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