Ecoleaf Frequently Asked Questions

How are Ecoleaf products different from what is already on the market?
We source raw materials that are fully traceable and certified to ensure that the products we make are ecofriendly. From day one, we put the health of consumers and the safety of the environment at the core of our philosophy. We use raw materials that are obtained from world leading suppliers which adhere to the highest industry standards.

How does Ecoleaf help in preserving the environment?
We are doing our part by providing alternatives to conventional single-use food containers and utensils (largely plastic) which are used on daily basis. We also realize that our role does not stop there, so we are partnering up with several local and international institutions that share our vision in order to:

  • Provide an all-round solution for the community, especially at the end of our products’ life-cycle.
  • Continuously progress on our path to become 100% sustainable.
  • Stay up to date with the latest developments in best eco-friendly practices, and new materials on the market to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission.

Why should we care about single-use food packaging products and how we dispose of them?
Millions of tons of solid waste are generated every year, and recent studies have estimated that most of that waste is single-use plastics which is largely used for food packaging (plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic cutlery…etc.). One of the biggest problems with plastic is that it takes hundreds of years to break down. A lot of this waste ends up directly in the environment, harming wildlife and breaking down into tiny pieces, polluting our soil and water, and contributing to the ocean’s garbage pollution. As a result, plastic has found its way to the fish we put on our plates, the table salt we use and it has even been found in our own bodies.

What does “Biodegradable” mean?
Biodegradable products are anything that can be completely broken down and return to nature.

What is the difference between “Compostable” and “Biodegradable”?
Simply put, compostable products need a specific set of conditions to break down, on the other hand biodegradable products break down naturally.

Are all paper food containers biodegradable and recyclable?
Although that may seem logical to think so, the answer is actually NO. Not all paper materials used for food packaging are biodegradable. For paper to hold liquids, withstand heat and moisture, it is usually lined with a layer of plastic or wax – which basically makes it non- biodegradable. For that reason also, most paper-recycling facilities are reluctant to accept such paper as it complicates the recycling process.

What is “Composting”?
In the simplest terms, composting is a process by which biodegradable materials (mainly organic-based) are piled up and exposed to a set of specific conditions that stimulate the biodegradation process. Through composting, what once was a pile of organic waste can then be used as a natural fertilizer for plants to thrive.

What is the difference between composting and recycling of solid waste?
Composting involves the breakdown of biodegradable waste into smaller elements that can be reincorporated to the natural carbon cycle. Recycling, on the other hand, involves the breaking down of waste into smaller components through mechanical procedures (physical or chemical) and then converting or repurposing it into a new item.

Why should I compost?
In addition to reducing the quantity of waste that is directed to landfills, there is a number of benefits to composting. Some examples include:

  • By composting food waste and other organics, we significantly reduce emissions of methane that are abundantly released by landfills
  • Composts are a great natural replacement for chemical fertilizers
  • Compost can revitalize soils polluted by hazardous waste in a cost-effective manner
  • Compost can capture and destroy 99% of industrial volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in contaminated air

What can I compost at home?
While a large variety of ingredients can go in a compost pile (almost too large to list here), these ingredients share the fact that they fall under the organic group. A good compost pile relies on a balanced mix of both green (Nitrogen-rich) and brown (Carbon Rich) waste. It is essential to keep in mind that variety is of importance to ensure a rich compost, filled with micro-nutrients and diverse microbial life.

Green waste: consists usually of wet or recently growing materials, examples include – fruit peels, vegetable trimmings, eggshells, coffee grounds…etc

Brown waste: in many cases is comprised of things that are brown or naturally turn brown – like dry leaves, paper products (such as newspapers, napkins, non-waxed paper & unbleached cardboard), corn stalk…etc.

What should never go into a home compost bin:
Pet droppings (especially cats or dogs), animal products (meat, fish, bones, dairy…etc.), citrus peels, cooking oil, and sawdust from treated wood are examples of items that should never go into your home compost bin.

What is a commercial composting facility?
Commercial or industrial composting is large-scale composting which is designed to handle a very high volume of dense organic waste. Chippers, grinders and mixers are involved in a pre- processing phase that breaks down the materials and makes sure the materials reach certain physical conditions before starting the composting process.

There are several types of commercial composts that optimize each step of the decomposition process. These measures also ensure that the organic material is transformed into a high quality, toxic-free compost. Some types of commercial composting include:

  • Aerated Composting – Process in which decomposing organic material is placed in piles over an air supply system that can be used to supply oxygen and control temperature for the purpose of producing compost. Piles are insulated to assure that all parts of the material reach and maintain temperatures at or above 55°C.
  • Turned Windrow – Here, the decomposing organic materials are placed in long piles, that are periodically turned or agitated to assure all parts of the pile reach the desired conditions.
  • In-vessel – The organic pile is enclosed in a container for the purpose of producing compost; the temperature, moisture and air-borne emissions are controlled, and nuisance and odor generation is minimized.

What is the difference between home composting and commercial composting facilities?
At the commercial level, the organic waste includes large volumes and dense materials that require segregation and other preparations to make sure the materials reach desired physical conditions. Home composting can only handle easily biodegradable organic waste. Home composts produce the same quality compost at the end of the process but they may not maintain the ideal conditions required for composting certain products such as our PLA bioplastic products which require sustained temperatures of 55°C for 10 days to break the molecular bonds.

Are there and commercial composting facilities in Qatar?
Currently, there are no commercial composting facilities available in Qatar. Recent news indicates that there are plans to develop commercial composting to manage solid waste in Qatar.

Should I still recycle?
In the case of paper, if you do not compost at home, then we highly encourage you to recycle your paper. By repurposing paper, we lessen the need to cut down trees for products that may otherwise be produced using recycled paper.

As for plastics, according to National Geographic, more than eighteen trillion pounds of plastic have been produced to date. Around eighteen billion pounds of plastic flows into the ocean every year, and this number is set to increase as demand for the cheap and convenient plastic products increases. It is estimated that less than 10% of plastic produced between 1950 and 2015 is recycled.Remember, positive effects can only be felt through the collective efforts of a community – and it starts with you.

Where can I recycle in Qatar?
There are several companies in Qatar that providing recycling services (bins and collection) for a wide range of materials. The most widely known are “Elite Paper Recycling” – for non-coated paper and corrugated cardboard, and “Global Metals” for aluminum, metals, plastics, and several other items.

What items can I recycle?
Material such as plastic, glass, polythene etc. should be recycled as they can be harmful to landfills. Incinerating plastic waste emits toxic gases that are harmful to your health and the environment. Recycling breaks these plastics down into smaller elements so they can be repurposed to different materials.

What is PLA, and how is it better than plastic?
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a polymer that is derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar cane. Plastics, on the other hand, are derived from the distillation and polymerization of nonrenewable petroleum reserves.

In addition, PLA is technically “carbon neutral” in that it comes from renewable, carbon-absorbing plants. When incinerated PLA also will not emit toxic fumes.

What are “Bio Plastics”?
These are polymers that are biomass-based, that is they are derived from biological substances instead of petroleum. PLA is one of several examples of such materials.

Can I buy Ecoleaf products directly if I am not a business?
Yes, through our website or by contacting us directly at +974 4498 1620 or email info@ecoleaf.com.qa

What is the “customize your own” service?
This dynamic service that will be available through our website, which gives you the freedom to insert your own designs on our products, and lets you see how your design would look. Whether you are a business or an individual, by using this feature you will have access to countless tools that allow you to choose from a huge collection of artworks, icons, images etc. or simply upload your own.

To learn more, check out the infographic video and the step-by-step guide in “customize your own”