Sustainability

Cradle to Cradle Pioneers:

Lifecycle of EcoTensil Products

Disposables are part of our world. EcoTensil’s goal is to offer affordable, disposable, single-use utensils that reduce the amount of costly waste impacting our planet and future generations.
Sample Spoons compared

Beginning of Life

Sustainably managed forests:

The cradle-to-cradle lifecycle of EcoTensils begins with well managed sustainable FSC/SFI forests, where biodiversity is allowed to thrive, waterways are healthy and CO2 is sequestered. (see our section on FSC/ SFI)

FSC EcoTasters

Supporting well-managed forests:

By supporting the FSC/SFI, we create greater market demand for certified material. This grows a system that supports healthy, carbon sequestering forests instead of harmful clear cutting.

Conscientious manufacturing:

Our primary facility has won numerous awards and is engaged in many levels of sustainability practices, from recycling 95% of waste to energy efficiency measures.

100% made in the U.S.:

Our paper is harvested from sustainably logged forests in Arkansas, Idaho and the Midwest. Localized production in the Midwest reduces green house gases. We are proud to support American companies and their work forces.

Middle of Life

Reduce, Reduce and Reduce:

The best ways to reduce our exploding human footprint on our one-and-only planet, is to simply reduce the amount of material we use. EcoTensils are extremely material efficient, literally using about 1/3-1/5 of the material and space of their plastic counterparts!

Reduced shipping:

Reducing material also means a significantly lighter carbon footprint in shipping.

Reduce demo materials:

Because our tasters have a full-sized “bowl” area they can replace costly dense FULL-sized utensils frequently needed in demos! EcoTasters are used to “plate” samples, reducing the need for a spoon AND a cup.

sample spoons compostability compared

EcoTaster after four weeks in compost, compared to a “Biodegradable ” spoon in same compost.

End of Life

Compostability

The “GreenDot” EcoTasters have a primarily mineral based coating as a moisture barrier, and they have passed the ASTM D6868 test for compostability.

In our own “home compost” tests, EcoTasters breakdown completely in 3-4 weeks, so easily breakdown in composting facilities that require 180 days! Happily, the number of compost facilities is increasing, so items like food waste and EcoTasters can be regenerated in a closed loop lifecycle. Do business in California? Learn about AB 1826.

EcoTaster vs plastic sample spoons

Recyclability:

EcoTasters are fully repulpable, and produce high quality recycled fiber.

Reducing waste in land fill:

Importantly, if EcoTasters do end up in the landfill they will have used 1⁄4 the amount of material and take up 1⁄4 of the space vs plastic utensils.

EcoTasters use 20% the cube space of plastic

EcoTasters use 20% the cube space of plastic.

Our Two Options:
Green Dot and
Blue Dot Materials

dot_green Green Dot Products are used for sampling. They are our most sustainable option — perfect for just a few bites.

EcoTaster MINI and MID:

  • Made from FSC certified paper stock
  • ASTM D6868 Compliant for Compostability and Recyclable

dot_blue Blue Dot Products our longest lasting utensils, perfect for a full serving. Used for all of our on-package products, iScoops and EcoSpoons.

  • We do our best to use only renewable SFI paperboard
  • Made from a material/coatings similar to a coffee cup
  • Material efficient – uses approximately 1/4 the material of comparable plastic/bioplastic utensils.
  • Recyclable and compostable at facilities where paper cups are accepted

FSC/SFI Certification

FSC:

Forest Stewardship Council certification is the most stringent and respected level of sustainable forestry. A broad range of stakeholders, including environmental groups and forest products representatives developed FSC standards.

FSC Forest requirements:

  • Biodiversity, endangered species, ancient stands are protected
  • Watersheds are protected
  • Stands are not to be cleared faster than they can regenerate. Prohibit clear cutting and convertion to plantations
  • Prohibit use of GMOs
  • Do not allow use of persistent and/or bio accumulative pesticides • FSC’s audit results are public
SFI Certification:

SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) has strict standards requiring minimal use of chemicals, protection of watersheds, conservation of biodiversity, reduction of clear-cutting.

plastic utensil waste

Millions of disposable utensils are used & thrown away each year!

Plastic and Bioplastic Utensil Lifecycle

Plastics:

Plastics have an undeniable role in today’s world. But we need to consider the fact that dense plastic utensils are being used for a few seconds, and remaining on this planet for potentially thousands of years.

  • The lifecycle of traditional plastics begins with potentially harmful extraction of non-renewable oil, refining, and transcontinental shipping.

Plastic utensils or Biodegradable utensils lifecycle diagram

  • Plastic’s end of life is not going to happen in our lifetime, or in our children’s, children’s, children’s life- time.
  • Discarded plastic finds its way in into waterways, creating significant, long-term harm to marine life. 32 million tons of plastic accumulates in U.S. landfills every year and that number will increase according to the EPA.
  • 13-16% of landfill is plastic, up from 1% in 1960. Plastic accounts for 50-80% of the waste found on beaches & in oceans.

It is estimated that it will take 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in the ocean and over 1,000 years in landfill.

Bioplastics:

The bioplastics industry has made admirable efforts to reduce dependence on non-renewable resources. Still, there are many issues that have come to light about bioplastics.

  • Pesticides and high energy use is needed in growing and converting the plant matter feedstock to polymer.
  • Because a utensil is made from plant matter, or claims to be “biodegradable,” does not mean it is compostable. If a utensil is not compostable — it is landfill.
  • Frequently the plant matter used, such as corn or potato, is genetically modified.
  • While bioplastics are compostable in industrial facilities, 90% of the dense bioplastic utensils do not breakdown in the requisite 180 days and therefore becomes landfill.
  • Compost facilities cannot tell the difference between plastics and bioplastic utensils, so the vast majority of bioplastics end up in land- fill alongside the plastic utensils they were intended to replace.