Eve Mathis is a former model who provides eco-friendly serveware through her company, Botanic Amenities. Mathis recognized the growing environmental impact of waste due to single-use plastic products.
Her company helps eliminate plastic waste by providing sustainable solutions. Some of her clients include Hyatt Hotels, Virgin Hotels, and the Hyatt Orlando Convention Center.
Why did you choose to specialize in designing serveware products?
We [saw] the need and how much waste there was. I decided I [would] specifically target serveware because there was so much waste. People may say, it’s just one straw but a billion people say that. Now you have that much in the landfill. I also knew the GMs and the food and beverage director [of various hotels]. I knew how much waste was going on just being around them. If you went to a concert or sporting event, and everyone’s drinking beer and I was just like, “Wow, that is a lot of waste.” If you go to fine dining, you can have your silverware and your beautiful glass, but then it can be washed over and over, which is great. If you’re doing takeout or something like that, then it’s a lot of waste. I just said, “This can’t keep happening. What are we doing for the next generation, we’re doing them a disservice.” That’s not what I want to do and I felt like this was my part. I could do my part this way.
Who have you or who do you plan to collaborate with?
We were working with Areas, which manages a lot of restaurants in airports globally, and they have a lot of restaurants in airports. I was telling them, maybe we can get some packets of their ketchup and their condiments, mayonnaise, mustard, and things like that, so that when people open it and just throw it away, then it will either dissolve very quickly in landfill or a few months. We’re just at the very beginning of talks but I mentioned to them that using PVA, polyvinyl alcohol, which dissolves in water within minutes or within weeks in a landfill, or even PLA, polylactic acid, which degrades within months in a landfill with the added polymers is fine, but just make it so that it looks clear, rather than white to make it easier to see what’s in the packets. Polymers attract water and bacteria that break it down in a landfill. They love that idea because they have a mission that by 2024, they want to change everything by becoming completely eco-friendly. They want to get out of plastic ware. Even though there’s a lot of plastic out there that can be recycled, a little over 90% of recycling does not recycle. What happens is it goes to the landfill. Recycling is failing us, and we need something more. Plastic can stay in the landfill for hundreds and sometimes a thousand years emitting methane gas while decomposing. We, in turn, breathe in these toxins daily.