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					Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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THE ASPENWARE STORY
Three shop teachers walked into a kitchen and changed the world. Claus Gerlach wasn't thinking about saving the world when he saw a TV report on wooden cutlery. A shop teacher with a healthy sense of curiosity, Claus was instead wondering how he could improve on that cutlery. He shared his idea with friends (and fellow shop teachers) Terry and Bob Bigsby. Shortly thereafter, the three set up shop in the Bigsby kitchen and started working. A little creative thinking, plenty of hard work, and a few burnt oven mitts later, the first laminated wooden spoon popped out of a re-tooled waffle iron. It took three years of tinkering and re-tooling to arrive at the beautiful pieces of birch cutlery. But Claus, Terry, Bob and the rest of us at Aspenware Inc. think it was time well spent. Aspenware Inc. is an icon of hope. Our product, Aspenware Cutlery is a biodegradable solution to the billions of plastic knives, forks and spoons that end up in landfill every year. It may be single use cutlery, but it's engineered to perform, and each completely unique piece is designed to capture your imagination.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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TALKING POINTS
• We are easily identifiable as green! Everyone can tell that our product is NOT plastic and that it is an environmentally friendly alternative • We use no additional water, rainfall only (corn on the prairies is watered heavily and potato crops require irrigation as well) • We use fallen trees salvaged from the forestry industry, no trees are specifically targeted • Our product is backyard compostable; many bio-plastic and starch based products must be composted in a commercial composting facility or sent back to the original manufacturer for composting • No GMO’s or pesticides • Potato & Corn Starch cutlery compete with food crops for land, fertilizer and water - all of which we are currently short of • Make it a Marketing Tool! Custom logos are available in large quantities • 100% natural product • Most importantly we are North American Made!!!! • We use hydro-electric power to operate our manufacturing facility, no fossil fuel based power • Our retail packaging is 100% compostable and biodegradable. Made of cellulose (natural plant fibre) and paper Aspenware’s retail packaging is another way we care for our environment. Page 26
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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Aspenware manufactures fully compostable, disposable wooden cutlery. Its product line includes a fork, a knife, a spoon and a soup spoon. Comparable in size to conventional cutlery, the utensils are lightweight and strong, as well as ergonomically designed and aesthetically pleasing. The pieces are designed for strength, with forks able to pierce a raw carrot, spoons able to support a small melon and knives able to slice easily through steak. Aspenware cutlery is all-natural, comprised of two thin layers of birch and/or aspen veneer laminated with a safe, edible, USFDA-approved, organic white glue. To eliminate any wooden taste, the eating portion of the cutlery (the cutting edge on the knife, the fork tines and the scooped portion of the spoon) is sprayed with a tasteless, kosher confectioners glaze. This glaze eliminates the ‘wicking’ sensation often associated with bare wood and helps speed the composting process. Aspenware holds international patents pending for its cutlery, which cover the products’ design and its unique, multi-layer construction. In addition, all its utensils meet North American food safety standards, while maintaining a competitive pricing strategy.

The patent numbers are as follows: US Provisional Patent Application No. 60/498,586; and the Canadian National Phase Entry No. 2,536,407 derived from PCT/CA2004/001569.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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PRODUCT PACKAGING
Aspenware has taken great care to ensure all aspects of our company are as environmentally friendly as possible. This includes the material used to package our retail product. Though it looks like plastic, the NatureFlex™ Film, made by Innovia, is true cellulose, produced from 100% plant and wood fibre. This material is completely biodegradable, is certified according to European and American standards for composting and will biodegrade in a marine environment. This material is a perfect fit for Aspenware as it has been proven suitable for home composting – just like Aspenware’s cutlery. The film being used for packaging is clear, allowing for a view of the product and offers Aspenware the opportunity to align their packaging message with the spirit of their product marketing. There will be a variety of package configurations for retail markets that can be custom designed for shelf display or racking. This film is ideal for packaging Food Service & Hospitality (FSH) product that are hygienic and sealed as it is specifically formulated to control moisture permeability. This enables Aspenware to expand their product line including wrapping cutlery with napkins, straws, etc. NatureFlex film can be printed on using vegetable inks to allow for marketing information about the customer, product, etc. while staying true to Aspenware’s environmental priorities. Case package consists of 100% recycled paper.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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COMPOSTING STUDY
Aspenware cutlery is different than most disposable utensils because it is made of wood – a fully renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource. While designed for single-use applications, the cutlery can be washed clean and re-used several times (during a weekend camping trip, for example). Disposal of the items is guilt-free, as all components of the cutlery are completely biodegradable; including the packaging.

In 2007, a decomposition study conducted by Dr. Abiola, of Olds College found that even under less than ideal conditions, Aspenware cutlery was approximately 33% decomposed after 45 days and that it broke down completely in 65 days under well-managed composting conditions.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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GREEN GLOSSARY
Biodegradable Products are considered to be biodegradable if they break down into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter within six months. Depending on the material, the process can occur in different environments, including soils, compost sites, water treatment facilities, and marine environments. Many products that claim biodegradability actually require chemical agents to initiate the degrading process. Compostable Compostable is a step above biodegradable. Compostable products rapidly biodegrade and disintegrate, releasing valuable nutrients into the soil, without leaving behind any toxic residues. Renewable Resource A renewable resource is one that can be continually reproduced. The time span for each raw material to “renew” itself can be annual, like a harvest, or as long as the human lifespan, such as timber. Sustainable Sustainable production meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. GMO’s Genetically Modified Organisms are organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.

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FOOD SERVICE & HOSPITALITY PACKAGING

Aspenware cutlery is the biodegradable solution to the billions of plastic utensils that get tossed into our landfills each year. Wood is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable making it the material of choice for people today and for future generations. Our cutlery is welldesigned, functional and our knives are strong enough to cut a “thick juicy steak”! Each piece is 100% natural, backyard compostable and has a Kosher and Pareve certified coating. Description Item No. UPC Code

Fork FSH Pack - 500 Knife FSH Pack - 500 Spoon FSH Pack - 500 Soup Spoon FSH - 500

0040-001 0041-001 0042-001 0043-001

8 83480 00034 6 8 83480 00033 9 8 83480 00032 2 8 83480 00039 1

500 Pc. Case Dimensions: 15.75” x 7.75” x 6” Weight: 5 Lbs

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RETAIL PACKAGING
Aspenware is sold in convenient countertop display cases of 16 bags with 12 pieces of cutlery per bag. Like our cutlery, all of our packaging started out as wood fibre and is completely backyard compostable! Even the retail bag that looks like “plastic” is actually a cellulose based wood fibre product!

Retail packages of 12 pieces. Packages have keyhole topper for hanging display.
Description Fork Display Case Knife Display Case Spoon Display Case Item No. 0015-001 0016-001 0017-001 UPC Code_____ 8 83480 00047 6 8 83480 00046 9 8 83480 00045 2

Display case dimensions (inches): 7.25” x 6.5” x 10” Display case weight: 2.9 Lbs

Retail Display Case

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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COMPARISON MATRIX
Bio-Plastic
Manufacture Raw material grown natural in forests Use trees salvaged from the forestry industry, no trees are specifically targeted for our production Our raw material consumes no additional water – rainfall only Low Fossil Fuel usage during manufacturing processing We source local wood – to minimize Fossil Fuel use during transportation No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or pesticides ever Can apply your logo and name to the cutlery at minimal cost Performance Looks like a natural wood product Excellent performance: well-designed and functional; knives will cut a steak, and forks will stab a raw carrot Works well with hot liquids Price competitive with High Quality plastics Disposal Any composter will work (simple backyard type or industrial) Easily sorted from plastics; visual differences are apparent Little or no effort required to educate consumer regarding “not plastic” concept Uses vast areas of productive farm land used to grow raw material Use derivative from wheat, corn, sugar cane, or potato production The bio-material requires massive amounts of irrigation High Fossil Fuel use in cultivation and the manufacturing process If made offshore – high carbon footprint in the transportation Cultivation uses pesticides and fertilizers – May contain GMO’s Re-tooling for injection mold process required for branding Not easily identifiable as biodegradable, often looking exactly like plastic cutlery Just like plastic Most work with hot liquids Price competitive with mid-low quality plastics Industrial composting facility (some brands must be returned to the manufacturer for proper disposal) Recycling facilities often cannot sort bio-plastics from plastics Focused marketing strategy required to explained the “not plastic” concept

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Aspenware made with real wood? Yes, Aspenware is made with “real” wood. No artificial, fake wood, or fillers are used. What kind of wood is used to make Aspenware cutlery? Mostly paper birch (Betula papvrifera) but testing has proven that trembling aspen (Populus tremrubra) can be used. Other than wood, what else is used in making Aspenware cutlery? Aspenware is a laminated product so the two layers of wood are held together with edible glue. Also, kosher confectioner’s glaze, most often used to coat candy, is applied to the product. It’s a food product and safe for consumption. That’s it — wood, edible glue and a confectioner’s glaze — no nasty chemicals. Why is the end of the cutlery shiny and not the whole thing? The eating half of the cutlery — cutting edge of the knife, fork tines and scooped portion of the spoon — is coated with the confectioner’s glaze to remove any wood taste. The glaze is shiny while the rest of the cutlery has a more natural sheen. Does Aspenware log trees? Aspenware uses logs from trees that were cut down during the normal operations of the softwood lumber industry such as spruce, pine, and fir. The birch was cut down and would have been left to rot, burned in slash piles or maybe cut up for firewood if we hadn’t bought it to make our cutlery. By diverting these trees Aspenware helps extend the life of their carbon sink. Does Aspenware create waste wood? Aspenware is currently in the process of figuring out how to best utilize wood that does not make it as cutlery. We are working towards our goal of zero waste! Does Aspenware cutlery smell and taste like wood? Yes and no. Birch and aspen don’t have a heavy wood smell or much of a taste. Think of the old wooden mixing spoons — they didn’t really have a wood smell or taste. Aspenware cutlery is much the same. Besides, our cutlery is coated with a confectioner’s glaze or, as we like to say it is “sugar coated”.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Aspenware cutlery re-usable? Sometimes, but it depends on usage. It can be used over the weekend and lightly cleaned, however Aspenware is intended for single use and was not designed to be put in a dishwasher or soaked in a sink for long periods of time. What’s the best way to dispose of Aspenware cutlery? Throw it in the compost pile! Aspenware is made of all natural products so disposal really isn’t an issue. How fast does Aspenware cutlery decompose? The decomposition study found that even under less than ideal conditions, Aspenware cutlery was approximately 33% decomposed after 45 days, and with proper management it was estimated to be totally broken down in 65 days. Further studies are being conducted and the results will be reported on our website. Is Aspenware cutlery like plastic cutlery? No, not at all, in fact we think it’s much better than plastic and believe it is the only truly sustainable alternative. Aspenware is made from wood, each piece is unique in color, hue and grain — the natural characteristics of the wood show through.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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Aspenware Wood Source
Currently, Aspenware cutlery is made primarily from paper birch (Betula papyrifera). These trees are fast-growing “cover” species, which have traditionally been cut down in order to gain access to higher-value softwood lumber and then either left to rot, or sold for lower value products like firewood. Aspenware accesses its prime resources through neighboring logging firms, which salvage the birch wood that best fulfills the company’s needs. Partnering with local companies and utilizing a logging industry by-product fulfills two key objectives, reducing the carbon emissions associated with transporting the supply to the company’s manufacturing facility, while keeping production costs down. Aspenware also intends to pursue “green” certification such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an independent, non-profit organization which promotes sustainable management of the world’s forests. Attaining FSC certification will further strengthen Aspenware’s eco-friendly credentials, and assure consumers that its products are made from wood that is grown and harvested under sound forestry practices.

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Biodegradable Wooden Cutlery

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ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Doing What's Right For Family, Friends & Forests At Aspenware, we make planet & people friendly products such as wooden knives, forks and spoons. Wood is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable making it the material of choice for people today and for future generations. Our commitment to nature goes much deeper. We optimize the use of our wood and are developing products to create value from our surplus material. Our plant runs on hydro-electric power and our manufacturing processes emit minimal, if any, carbon. We are fully aware of our surroundings and strive to improve the community and environment in which we live and work. By building strong relationships with our community and forests we intend to become a leader in the production of planet friendly products. Aspenware believes in nature’s patent, not just because our products are laminated and curved like growth rings but because we believe in healthy and resilient ecosystems. Are we perfect? No! Are we going to improve? Absolutely! Our pledge is to continually strive to improve our environmental performance…and we will get better over time! “Doing what’s right for family, friends & forests” stands for the synergistic relationship that we believe should exist between people and nature.

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posted:12/24/2009
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