May 25, 2010
This week EcNow Tech started up our first production run of locally produced tasting spoons for a local restaurant. This component was chosen as a good manufacturing start-up component and is needed to replace a product which is a great example of extreme waste.
Check out the path of the existing petroleum based tasting spoon: Oil pumped from the ground and shipped a long distance to be refined. Refined oil shipped and converted to polymer pellets. The pellets are shipped overseas to be converted to tasting spoons and shipped back across the ocean to a distribution center. From the distribution center the product is shipped via truck to regional centers and finally delivered to the restaurant. The customer at the restaurant requests a sample of ice cream or gelato and literally uses the product for 5-10 seconds before placing it in a waste receptable where it is transferred to a landfill to sit for thousands of years.
The new plant based tasting spoon starts its life as a plant grown in the mid-west and is also polymerized in the mid-west and shipped to EcNow Tech in Corvallis Oregon as pellets. The material is formed into tasting spoons where it is delivered 1 mile via car (bicycle someday) to the restaurant. After a 5 second life the spoon is placed in a compostable bag and delivered to the compost facility where it will break down to humus in 30-60 days.
The EcNow Tech team is dedicated to the elimination of petroleum based products and delivering truly green solutions for our community and region. Stay tuned for our next innovative products and processes!
A few weeks ago a local high school senior stopped into the Earth Smart Store and wanted to discuss how we could work together to improve the rate of composting in the community and reduce waste. We agreed that a study was in order to gather data to begin the process which someday will lead to large scale collection and composting of plant based products.
Today three students and I met with our local waste company to discuss the study. Understandably the local waste company believes that home collection of compostable products can not occur in the near future because of the challenge for most consumers to differentiate between petroleum and plant based products. Many of the products look identical and there hasn’t been sufficient education to enable a wide scale implementation of home composting of plant based products.
The students recommended painting a compost bin to make it stand out as different and place compostable products on the receptable to show what can be placed in the bin. They will start at the local high school, working with their peers and educate them on the products which are plant based and can be collected. The goal is send information home to families then expand the collection program to other area schools and to area neighborhoods.
It was agreed that this would be an excellent program to pass on from class to class at the local high shool as the first study will undoubtedly lead to other important steps on the road to wide scale use and collection of compostable, plant based products. I applaud the students who said, “We’ll get this started then pass it on to the next group of kids who want to improve our community.” I’m honored to be a part of the effort and working alongside such talented and great kids!