Milford-Based Sustainability Company Responsible Products Offers Compostable Carry-Out Containers

By providing biodegradable bags, to-go containers, cling wrap, utensils and trash bags, Responsible Products aims to reduce the amount of waste that restaurants produce each day.

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click to enlarge Responsible Products makes plant-based and compostable containers, cups, bags and more. - Photo: Responsible Products/Catie Viox
Photo: Responsible Products/Catie Viox
Responsible Products makes plant-based and compostable containers, cups, bags and more.

Responsible Products, a company located in Milford dedicated to selling plant-based, compostable goods, has partnered with around 75 restaurants in Greater Cincinnati to offer eco-friendly alternatives to traditional packaging.

In providing biodegradable bags, to-go containers, cling wrap, utensils and trash bags — to name just a few products — the company aims to make a lasting impact in the community by reducing the amount of waste that restaurants produce each day.

“It's something that I think that we're programmed as consumers not to think about,” says Merrell Woods, Responsible Products sales director. “I think that the movement of sustainability and to be more eco-conscious is really starting to unfold.”

Woods explains that just one Ziploc bag in a landfill could take centuries to even a millennium to break down.

“It's a really staggering number,” he says. “We're in a plastic epidemic...so we're very happy to be offering a different alternative, and I think that's really resonating with the community.”

Responsible Products offers more than 100 different biodegradable items for both household and industry use, and all of them are made from plants or sugar byproducts. For example, its takeout boxes are made from sugarcane plant fiber, and its clear cups are composed of "renewable plant material." 

“We turn what’s leftover from other manufacturing processes, the stuff that nobody wants, into something meaningful," says owner Nathan Sedgwick. "It’s a big driving force behind the zero-waste movement and, as the old proverb goes, 'One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.'"

Sedgwick founded Responsible Products in 2018. After spending 12 years in the sustainable packaging industry, he wanted to bring this opportunity to his hometown.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community where I grew up, [and] what better way than to take all I’ve learned and support fellow local businesses in the community," he says.

The company currently partners with local restaurants including Streetside Brewery, Pig Candy BBQ, Third Eye Brewing and Kiki College Hill.

“I can’t name a single brewery who wants to use plastic cups," says chef Steven Vanderpool of Third Eye Brewing. "Due to the predicament we’re in right now, (using plastic is) definitely the easy option, but that’s not us. One beer, one plastic cup, 400 years. No thanks.” 

Responsible Products also assures that its products, while being biodegradable, are strong enough to withstand whatever those restaurants and breweries can throw at them. The aforementioned takeout boxes are good for hot and cold food, are waterproof and oil-proof and are freezer safe. The company says the sugarcane-produced boxes are even stronger than Styrofoam.

In addition to providing eco-friendly products, Responsible Products is passionate about education and expanding its services. The company is planning to kick off its very own compost pick-up program by the end of 2021, according to Woods.

“It's the next logical step for us,” says Woods. “(Some restaurants) say, ‘We'd love to use your products but, let's be honest, they would just end up in a landfill, like everything else,’ so we want to be able to have an answer for that, and prove ourselves as a true full-service sustainable company.”

The compost pick-up program would be responsible for collecting appropriate waste from companies who use the company's plant-based products to bring back to their facility to compost.

Responsible Products doesn’t only provide goods to businesses; they also sell household items to people across the United States. The company’s social media has played a vital role in spreading their name, Woods says.

He adds they have delivered goods like cling-wrap, sandwich bags and dog waste bags as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. By using plant-made items, homeowners can make their own composted soil and reduce household waste, one family at a time.

For more information on Responsible Products and to see what items the company offers, visit responsibleproducts.com.










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