In short, a court case was brought upon us by a competitor. The court case concerns a dispute regarding a settlement, and how the product (PlantPaper U1) has been marketed according to that.
Long story short:
In order to clarify why this has happened, we need a short look back at 2016, where we entered into a settlement with Ellepot in a previous court case. In this settlement we agreed not to use some specific ways of describing our products. The verdict in the recent court case went against us, while the judge found that we had bypassed the settlement from 2016.
Why did we make a settlement?
We decided to enter into the settlement in 2016 because we wanted to remain focused on developing a great product rather than using the time in a Danish court room. The consequence is that there are certain expressions regarding our product we unfortunately can’t use.
We have of course noted the outcome of the trial, which we believe is founded on the lack of relevant certifications for this type of product in the market. We actually see this outcome as a momentary setback for the whole industry, and not only for our way of communicating our products towards our customers. On this basis we have appealed the verdict.
You can read the full verdict by following this link (in Danish):
PlantPaper U1 is 100% biobased
We at PlantPaper take pride in our products. As a young and innovative manufacturer we have been on the market since 2015 with PlantPaper U1. This is a 100% biobased and certified paper with INGEO* (*Type of Poly Lactic Acid) at its core, to be used as an environmentally friendly and 100% biobased solution.
According to a report published by the Danish Environmental Ministry in 2015 is PLA (Poly lactic acid) a natural fiber with a decomposition that is comparable to wood. It also describes that the term “biodegradability” is defined by EN13432.
PlantPaper U1 is naturally certified according to EN13432. Furthermore, PlantPaper U1 is certified 100% biobased according to USDA, OK Bio, and DIN. And U1 is also certified according to OK Compost industrial.
You can find the full report by following this link (in Danish): https://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publikationer/2015/01/978-87-93283-53-4.pdf
Being in this industry, you of course already know that the market is ready for biobased, biodegradable and compostable products.
Our product (PlantPaper U1) is made of the new and innovative material called INGEO. INGEO is many things, but in short it is a 100% biobased fiber that can be ‘designed’ for different end-uses. Unfortunately, today these types of materials do not fit into any standard categories, and therefore the challenge is how to test and categorize them.
What is going on in the market?
PlantPaper is in a market, where there are a lot of diverging messages regarding materials and certifications. Surely this is no news to you. The general impression is that paper for paper pots is made of natural wood fibers etc. This unfortunately is not always correct. According to third parties’ analyses of a wide range of papers in the market, there are high percentages of oil-based polyesters (PET) or other indestructible materials in the paper. Some analyses even show well beyond 60% polyester.
An example, if you use 1 pallet of paper at for instance 500kg, then 60% polyester means that you are putting 300kg Oil-based Polyester (PET) in the soil!
How to scale 300kg PET: A single serve 0.5l PET bottle is average 10g each, 300kg polyester is equal to 30.000 bottles.
Is plastic necessary?
This is an important question being debated. Using a 100% pulp product wouldn’t last more than a few days in the plant-nurseries due to moisture, temperature and fertilizers. Therefore, it is necessary to add ‘something’ to reinforce the paper. The easy way is to use polyesters such as PP and PET. An alternative is to use the new generation of 100% biobased materials, such as our INGEO fibers, made from corn and starch.
What are we doing?
At PlantPaper we do not believe that it is right to use a material that contains high levels of PET/Polyesters and other indestructible materials. And then introduce this material into the soil/nature. Therefore, PlantPaper U1 is manufactured from 100% biobased and certified materials.
Is ‘bio’ the way forward?
Yes, it certainly is! Just look around. Many places are getting rid of plastic bags, disposable plates, cutlery and straws made from oil products. Today the demand is for new materials as PLA, INGEO and other 100% biobased products.
Is it easy?
No, but it is necessary! The road ahead is both exciting and difficult. From our perspective, testing and result-based development is the only sustainable way forward. And we constantly seek to contribute in any way we can to further the knowledge base and speed up the development. We need to act upon firm knowledge about the products we use.
Confirming quality through testing
At PlantPaper we constantly work to provide you with well-tested and environmentally friendly products. We carry out tests on a regular basis to confirm the quality of our products. This is proven by our increasing customer base around the world. We do this so you can rest assured that our product complies with your needs and wishes. We are sorry if this case has caused some inconvenience to you. As this court case is about a settlement between two companies, we believed that the disagreement should have ended in the court. And not to be used as negative marketing. We will make sure to inform you of any news on this case. We understand if this raises questions and urge you to contact us with them.
For now, we want to let you know that you can safely continue using our products.
Chief Executive Officer