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California Company Has Bold Vision in State’s New Composting Future

Through the use of renewable compostable materials such as bamboo and corn, World Centric has created food service ware that reduces carbon footprints, and helps Californian’s comply with the new January 1, 2022 composting law. All of World Centric’s food containers are compostable and made without the use of tree products.


February 17, 2022

By Laurie Hanson

In California’s efforts to “Go Green” and reduce methane gasses in landfills, World Centric is a company that is creating compostable utensils and food containers. 

Composting is the natural process of breaking down biodegradable materials into a rich soil amendment. Compost is created with many different types of food scraps including fruits, vegetables, meat, bones, fish, shellfish, eggshells, bread, grains, and coffee grounds. Paper towels and cardboard are compostable as well as food-soiled pizza boxes or other food containers.

Beginning January 1st, the state-required residents to separate organic materials like food scraps and yard trimmings from other garbage. All towns, cities and counties are providing special compost containers and collection services to residents and businesses, according to www.californiacompostlaw.com.

Under then-Governor Jerry Brown, the “Short-Lived Climate Pollutants,” Senate Bill 1383 was initiated in 2016. It created today’s compost law aimed to reduce organic waste in landfills thereby cutting harmful methane amounts sent into the atmosphere. It does this by making compost collection bins and services available to all Californians. 

“Within a landfill, food waste creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” said World Centric Resource Recovery Manager, Erin Levine. The company aims to help California meet its goal to reduce 75 percent disposable organic waste in its landfills by 2025.

“World Centric has developed more than 350 foodservice and retail products across tableware, cutlery and food packaging,” Levine added. “All of our products are plant-based, compostable and made from renewable materials.”

Besides composting being good for the environment, it also bypasses the need for international shipping of waste products by creating a local regenerative economy of waste conversion that can be used for agriculture, roadsides, and carbon farming, she added. 

“World Centric exists to be of service to people and the planet,” Levine explained. “We believe that businesses have a primary responsibility to society to create good in the world.”

“Through our products, we aim to reduce the environmental impact of the foodservice industry by creating certified compostable packaging made from renewable plant-based materials,” she said. 

World Centric’s compostable food service ware (such as takeout containers and cutlery) are made from rapidly renewable plant sources including sugarcane, bamboo and corn, sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based foodservice ware. 

“Our products are made from rapidly renewable agricultural byproducts,” Levine explained. “By utilizing leftover plant materials (that would otherwise be incinerated) we can reuse valuable renewable resources to create packaging that’s able to break down in 2-4 months in a commercial composting environment.”

“By choosing a World Centric product, you are reducing your carbon footprint as it takes less energy and emits less greenhouse gasses to produce than plastics,” she added. “Further, World Centric only produces certified compostable materials that can be composted in commercial compost programs, avoiding unnecessary waste from entering the landfill.”  

With foodservice ware being a $7.5 Billion industry, it has become even more viable, especially in places where single-use plastics are banned. More than ever there is an interest in reducing plastics and replacing them with more eco-friendly options. 

The company was originally founded as a non-profit to raise awareness of large-scale humanitarian and environmental issues in 2004 by Aseem Das. By hosting speakers and a film series, he wanted to educate others on how the pursuit of a good life is severely degrading the planet’s ecosystems while creating vast inequalities. 

“Our founder started selling compostables and Fair-Trade products like cashews and dried fruit to raise money for his film and educational series that highlighted social and environmental issues worldwide,” added Levine.

In 2005, Aseem Das began selling Fair Trade and compostable products to make World Centric a self-sustaining organization without taking donations or grants. 

Four years later, World Centric’s primary focus was selling compostable products and converting from a taxable non-profit to a for-profit social enterprise. 

However, its mission to do good in the world remained the same. Since 2009, World Centric has given a minimum of its profits to grassroots social and environmental organizations, and the company became a certified B-Corp in 2010. 

“As a Certified B Corporation and California Benefit Corporation, World Centric aims to use business as a force for good,” Levine explained. “We donate 25 percent of our profits each year to organizations addressing social and environmental issues, with more than $1.5 million allocated for donations in 2020.”

World Centric is a member of 1 Percent for The Planet, a California Green Business, a Green America Certified Business, and part of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. 

Their carbon giving program is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by even using renewable energy to power their office. 

“We want to stay abreast of evolving technologies that relate to product efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint,” she added. “As a mission-driven company, we want to ensure our products are safe and advantageous to the communities we provide them for.”

For more information about World Centric compostables and zero waste products, please visit online at www.worldcentric.com


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