Palm leaf - From areca palms to sustainable tableware
The betel tree (areca catechu), also called areca palm, is an old cultivated plant from Southeast Asia and belongs to the family of the palm trees. Its distribution area goes from Malaysia to the Solomon Islands (West to East) and from Taiwan and the Philippines to North Australia (North to South). The palm is even planted in the tropical rain forests of Madagascar and East Africa. The plants grow up to 25m in height and owe their name to their red fruits: the betel nuts. These nuts are known as natural stimulants in Southeast Asia and India but they do not matter to industrial countries.
The most valuable part of the plant (for us) is situated on its trunk: The up to 2 meter long palm leaves that fall from the palm 4 to 7 times per annum during its whole growth. During the dry season, these palm leaves are collected and sorted by quality. Since our tableware is pressed out of a whole leaf, only high-quality leaves are suitable for the production. For this reason, a large amount of the leaves is burned or used as an organic fertilizer on the fields.
But instead of burning the waste product, our manufacturers increase the material’s value and produce sustainable tableware. In the following, we explain the necessary steps to convert a palm leaf into disposable plates and bowls.
Prodction steps for palm leaf products:
The palm leaves are sorted by quality.
The selected palm leaves are washed, bundled, and dried. A certain amount of residual moisture must remain for the further processing.
The whole leaf is pressed into the desired shape by the aid of hydraulic pressing and impacts of heat. After that the edges are smoothed and the surface is polished.
- Ready to go! The greenbox palm leaf bowls and plats are ready for transport and shipping and cannot wait for their application in your company.
Sustainability: Palm leaves are a pure natural product
In Southeast Asia, areca palms are planted because of their popular betel nuts. In industrial countries, however, there is no interest in this sort of palm tree because it does not belong to the subfamily of oil palms. For this reason, no tropical rain forests are cut down for the cultivation of areca palms.
Furthermore, the palm plantations from where we obtain the raw material for our products are cultivated without any pesticides and fungicides. The water used to clean the palm leaves is collected and subsequently used for the irrigation of the plants. In this way, farmers do not only preserve the environment but also valuable resources.
After its usage, palm leaf products usually ends up in the trash bin, occasionally also in open nature. But as a natural product, the bowls and plates are completely biodegradable and decompose quite fast. They eventually turn to soil and in turn, Mother Nature may use this soil for the creation of new life.
Natural all-rounder: The special characteristics of palm leaves
• Stable and sturdy
• Food safe
• Water repellency: does not require artificial coatings or other additives
• Resistant against against grease and sauces
• Good thermal property: also suitable for hot dishes
• Unique grain on every leaf
By choosing sustainable tableware, you also engage in the reduction of disposable plastic and cardboard tableware. If you are interested in this particular material, then feel free to take a look at our palm leaf plates und palm leaf bowls in our online shop.