Injection molder UrthPact LLC (Leominster, MA) will manufacture sustainable, single-use cutlery for the in-store cafes of a major U.S. organic grocery chain, reports the Worcester Business Journal.
Urthpact specializes in the molding of plant-based, compostable plastic products, making it a good fit for sustainable consumer products company Preserve (Waltham, MA), which is marketing the cutlery.
The products are made from 100% recycled polypropylene resin, which is processed by Urthpact using a molding technique that, it says, is designed to cost-effectively process compostable, plant-based plastics in a consistent manner. Traditional injection molding methods do not work well with these types of materials, says the company on its website, and it dedicated engineering resources at the outset to better understand the material properties, how they work and how to work with them. "We took everything we knew about the process and completely rethought it," says the company.
The cutlery is designed to be part of Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling program, which seeks to encourage consumers and retailers to close the loop in product lifespans. Most of Preserve's products use #5 polypropylene, and the company has initiated waste collection efforts in participation with Stonyfield, Brita, Whole Foods and other companies.
A six-store soft launch of the cutlery through a pilot program is planned for this month; a national roll out is expected in March, according to the Worcester Business Journal.
UrthPact did not disclose the name of the grocery store.