ROSEMONT, ILL. — The ownership of Stillwater, Minn., mold maker and manufacturer VistaTek LLC created an independent company to manufacture plates, bowls and other items from plant-based plastics.
Called SelfEco, the company produces various food service items — plates, bowls, cups, cutlery — and other supplies that are compostable in commercial composting facilities. The company will introduce a new line of home and garden products this month at Cultivate'15, a horticulture show in Columbus, Ohio.
SelfEco was created in part to help mitigate highs and lows of mold making business, VistaTek account manager Al Mishek said at Amerimold 2015 in Rosemont. SelfEco products are injection molded in Stillwater in a shared location with VistaTek.
“One of the benefits for us, in our opinion, was to kind of be our own customer,” Danny Mishek, SelfEco president and VistaTek managing director, explained in a follow-up phone interview. “We've always been a contract manufacturer, so it's nice to build parts that we have patent pending, and that we have ownership of.”
SelfEco products are made with polylactic acid supplied by NatureWorks LLC, and PLA blends. VistaTek has experimented with using plant-based materials in the past, but “really started gaining momentum when we had our own personal interest regarding an end product that could be composted or recycled,” Mishek said.