ROHNERT PARK, CALIF.—World Centric announced Leaf+, the first all-natural, 100 percent plant-based, fully compostable, innovative alternative solution to fluorinated chemicals such as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in disposable fiber tableware. Combining cutting-edge technology with an all-natural, proprietary application, the World Centric Leaf+ solution is PFAS free, oil-resistant, food-grade, and suitable for hot and cold use, an industry first.
“World Centric has been committed to removing PFAS from our products. Creating a solution that doesn’t compromise the performance and excellence of compostable fiber products has been a challenge for the industry,” explains Mark Stephany, World Centric Senior Vice President of Sales. “We’re excited to announce Leaf+, a much-needed foodservice and retail packaging solution that is PFAS free and not only meets but exceeds expectations for the industry.”
Oil resistance in molded fiber plates, bowls, and containers has traditionally been provided by chemicals called Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances commonly referred to as PFAS. The foodservice industry has used short-chain PFAS chemicals to provide oil resistance. World Centric began replacing short-chain PFAS in its molded fiber products with plant-based PLA linings as a barrier in its Leaf molded fiber products released in 2020.
World Centric is now releasing its ground-breaking Leaf+ solution with a select group of products and will expand the line over the coming months. Composed of all-natural and 100 percent plant-based ingredients, Leaf+ provides an alternative that doesn’t require PFAS or PLA to achieve high-temperature oil resistance. World Centric Leaf+ products will provide oil and grease resistance for many types of foods with temperatures up to 200° Fahrenheit (93° Celsius).
Available Later This Year
All of World Centric’s molded fiber retail products, including 6”, 9”, 10”, and 10” 3-compartment plates and 11.5 oz bowls, will incorporate the Leaf+ solution. They will become available across North America later this year. Select foodservice items will also be produced using the Leaf+ solution during the coming year.
The new Leaf+ solution has passed all compostability tests under ASTM standards and is under review for third-party certification.
“Molded fiber products with Leaf+ join the complete range of compostable solutions offered by World Centric, and build on our dedication to creating alternatives in disposable foodservice ware that is better for the planet,” added Stephany. “Given the increased awareness of consumers to the environmental issues with PFAS and an increased number of ordinances banning their use, operators and consumers are seeking ways to reduce their environmental impact and meet local, state, or regional requirements. Leaf+, along with all of our other compostable products, help make that possible.”
In addition to its innovative, market-leading solutions, World Centric is a leading mission-driven company. The company annually gives 25 percent of its net profits to fund global grassroots social and environmental projects that provide basic needs and economic development opportunities for communities experiencing extreme poverty, while beneficially impacting the environment. In 2020 World Centric gave over $1,700,000 in cash and product donations, aiding, and helping to create systems change at the root of many social and environmental issues.