An entrepreneur from the United Arab Emirates established an eco-friendly cutlery business utilizing fallen date palm leaves.

An Emirati entrepreneur has harnessed fallen date palm tree leaves to create environmentally friendly cutlery.

Lamis Al Hashimy’s company, Palmade, transforms discarded date palm tree leaves into compostable cutlery, offering a sustainable solution that contributes to tree nourishment.

Palmade’s production process involves grinding the fibrous leaves into powder, blending them with extracts like sugar cane, and molding them into knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, and coffee stirrers. These disposable utensils closely resemble plastic and are already in use in hotels and supermarkets across the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

Motivated by a desire to create a positive impact for future generations, Lamis Al Hashimy emphasizes the importance of utilizing indigenous resources sustainably. Her vision extends beyond cutlery, aiming to replace single-use plastics with palm-based alternatives both locally and internationally.

Founded in 2019, Palmade quickly gained traction, especially during the Expo in October 2021. Partnering with entities like Emaar, the company collects trimmed date palm leaves from Dubai communities to produce its eco-friendly cutlery.

Despite initial production challenges, Palmade has expanded its operations significantly, now manufacturing 70,000 pieces of cutlery daily. The company intends to further establish its presence in the region while exploring opportunities in Asian and European markets.

Lamis Al Hashimy’s journey began in 2014, experimenting with date palm leaves collected near her Dubai home. Through collaboration with academic institutions like UAE University, Palmade developed innovative solutions, including bioplastics that require minimal water for production.

The campaign against single-use plastics aligns with the UAE government’s initiatives, including a nationwide ban on plastic bags and plans to prohibit the import of plastic cutlery and styrofoam by 2026.

Despite initial resistance from some quarters due to price comparisons, Palmade remains committed to promoting locally made-sustainable alternatives. Lamis Al Hashimy and her husband, Yousuf Caires, advocate for conscious consumer choices and urge companies to prioritize environmentally friendly practices.

Their dedication to utilizing the date palm tree’s resources reflects a deep-rooted connection to the UAE’s heritage, resonating with people regardless of their nationality. As Palmade continues to expand its product range, Lamis Al Hashimy hopes to inspire others to embrace sustainability and contribute to a greener future.

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