Everyone loves to dine out. Even more, everyone loves take out. Or, ‘take-away’ in other cultural terminology. But, when you consider how many people on our planet order take out, and how many disposable plates are being used, do you ever think about where those plates end up? Landfills? The ocean?

VerTerra did.

compostable plates

VerTerra has championed the disposable plate market in a way that no other company has. Not only are they committed to creating products that are made from 100% renewable resources as well as being BPI-certified compostable, but they also had aesthetic design and affordability in mind. 

As the food industry stretches for more sustainable ways to serve customers without compromising quality of service yet managing overhead, factoring in paper products like disposables and take-aways are a large part of any business’ bottom line. Customers are becoming more ‘enviro-centric’ and are consciously choosing dinnerware that results in a smaller if not nearly invisible carbon-footprint on the planet.

VerTerra is the most awarded disposable supplies manufacturer on the market, and for а good reason. Innovative design coupled with environmental sustainability equals disposable palm leaf plates, cutlery, and an entire line of compostable dinnerware that not only serves the customer but the planet. 

palm leaf plates

VerTerra’s Dinnerware from Fallen Leaves

“Dinnerware from fallen leaves” is the trademark with which VerTerra uses to describe its line of sustainable disposable plates. Not a single tree is cut down to create this line of stylish dinnerware, boxes, smallware, cutlery, and baking baskets.

The brainchild of CEO Michael Dwork, and the creator of “The Palm Leaf Plate,” his company, VerTerra (meaning ‘true to the Earth’) has been awarded numerous times by the Natural Products Association, The NY Restaurant Association, and the International Hotel Motel Association in addition to a distinction by the Smithsonian. The story of VerTerra has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe.

Company founder Michael Dwork describes the experience that inspired him to launch the company: “VerTerra was born from the most simple and unexpected encounter.

As my car bumped its way down a dirt road in rural India, I saw a woman soaking leaves in water, then pressing them in a crude waffle iron. She pulled out what looked like a plate and served food on it.

To this day, I can’t remember what I ate, but that simple organic plate started me on a journey to refine what I saw that day into a stylish, durable and truly environmentally-friendly line of single-use dinnerware.

Our mission is to help make a difference in the world, one party at a time.”

With a drive to continue to be a pioneer in the field of renewable resources and sustainability, we at McDonald Paper are proud to partner with VerTerra.

Where Does VerTerra Manufacture its Products?

First and foremost, VerTerra owns and produces their own products to ensure the highest quality results and optimum working conditions for their employees which include a living family wage and access to health care. All employees work in compliance with international standards. Since VerTerra products are produced in India and South East Asia, with cutlery, boxes, cheese boards, and bakeware produced in China, VerTerra is proud to be a ‘global employer.’

Company’s philosophy is “borrowed and returned to the Earth.” From their factories comes a line of compostable products that are free from dyes, fragrances, bonding agents, lacquers, and other chemicals. After use, VerTerra products can simply be tossed in the compost bin alongside food waste where they will naturally compost in about two months. 

Here is a ‘lifecycle’ overview of VerTerra products: 

  • Gather - leaves are collected from organically grown palm trees that fall to the ground naturally in India.
  • Steam and Press – the leaves are then sterilized, steamed, molded into plates and other products.
  • Heat – the products are heated to solidify their shape.
  • Used – VerTerra plates, bowls and other products are then used by the consumer.
  • Compost– used products are composted along with other biodegradable waste.
  • Regrowth – products come full circle in the ecosystem. 

palm leaf plates

Why Use VerTerra?

The question is “Why not?” In the era of climate change and consumer awareness, food industry establishments are looking for ways to economize on labor and overhead while continuing to generate profit. Diners and guests are more willing to embrace a ‘low-carbon footprint’ dining experience and will seek out those opportunities that align with their environmental values. 

VerTerra products are not ‘recyclable’ because the conventional process to recycle items means melting permanent materials like plastic, glass and metals down and then reforming them into something new. VerTerra products are easily disposed with food waste. It’s an easy shift for staff and less work for the dishwasher!  Created with a thoughtful design, VerTerra products do not impart any taste or odor, will not leak and even act as a natural insulator for cold and hot foods. They can be heated in the microwave, kept in the refrigerator or freezer and will even hold liquids. 

wooden cutlery

Eco-Friendly Dining Experience

The food service industry is competitive and lives on ‘small margins.’ However, small changes can make for big savings for owner/operators who are determined to provide a distinguished, memorable, and elegant dining experience. 

Dinnerware and cutlery are the canvas on which beautiful food is prepared and presented. VerTerra’s line of compostable ‘eatware’ saves time and energy in the kitchen for operators, enhances the experience for the diner, and supports the environment. One plate at a time.