Eco-pliant Brings Comprehensive Portfolio of Packaging Solutions To Nation’s Restaurant & Foodservice Community

Eco-pliant biodegradable products
Eco-pliant delivers compostable paper food packaging and restaurant supplies nationwide, while researching and developing the highest-quality product solutions to support the foodservice industry’s growth in sustainability.

When Eco-pliant was first dreamed up in a living room in 2017, eco-friendly was still a fairly new buzzword in the packaging industry.

Initially looking for a product to sell as a side hustle, Eco-pliant founder Andrew Hargest settled on paper straws, which were just starting to replace plastic straws in businesses around the country. He and his partner were surfers and loved the outdoors, and the viral video of the turtle with the plastic straw stuck in its nose was making national waves. What began as two friends buying wholesale paper straws and selling them to restaurants quickly grew into what is now a digitally native packaging distributor with over 18 product categories in their catalogue.

Eco-pliant Andrew Hargest
Andrew Hargest

“I like to say we’re a hybrid distributor, marrying the best parts of e-commerce with the best parts of traditional full-service distribution,” said Hargest, Eco-pliant CEO. With five warehouses throughout the United States, Eco-pliant makes ordering compostable and recyclable food packaging easier than ever—and they have a diverse range of products for every kind of business.

“If you’re buying food packaging for your business, you’re our target customer,” Hargest said. Eco-pliant not only supplies sit-down restaurants and bars, but also catering companies, hospitals, hotels, and groceries, not to mention the custom products that they can make on an individual basis. “You need to put your product in packaging that matches and preserves the quality of the food. If you’re selling a $30 entrée, you can’t skimp on the packaging because it’s the first thing the customer sees.”

If the pandemic changed anything in the packaging world, one of the most notable is that many more places now offer takeout and delivery options. For high-end restaurants, having packaging that shows off the quality of the food is particularly important, especially when customers are paying for delivery fees on top of a $30 entrée.

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For Eco-pliant, educating and providing information to their customers about the environmental impact of their packaging is just as important as providing the packaging itself. When they first branched out from straws, they assumed that everyone wanted compostable fiber-based packaging, but they soon learned that a lot of cities don’t have compost programs; these fiber-based products would still just end up in a landfill and not disposed of properly. That’s not to say that fiber packaging is still not better than petroleum-based plastic.

As they expanded, Eco-pliant began to look into producing recyclable packaging as well, and making sure that they are able to provide the necessary information about what happens with each kind of packaging at the end of its life.

“Our job is to teach you how to provide that end of life disposal information to your customers, because inherently, a lot of the burden to recycle or compost packaging products falls on the customer, not just the restaurant,” Hargest said.

Equipping their clients with the right information that can then be passed on to customers is crucial. They’ve found that businesses and communities that incentivize their customers to use sustainable packaging rather than punishing them for using something less eco-friendly tend to be much better at making lasting changes and fostering loyalty.

Eco-pliant is continuing to take further steps to continue producing products that are as sustainable as possible, and are actively keeping up with current research into eco-friendly materials—Hargest even mentioned learning about foams made entirely from potato starch that can then be molded into shape. A love of the outdoors is still first and foremost in the founders’ minds. “We see a lot of plastic washing up on beaches,” Hargest said, “but we have a lot of smart people out there working on some really good ideas. We’re trying to be at the front of that and make sure that we can contribute.”

Always on the lookout for what’s next, Eco-pliant has recently begun taking steps to remove PFAS from all of their packaging; in fact, Hargest mentioned, they have a partner who just sourced all PFAS-free packaging for Eco-pliant, and it’s just a matter of getting it into production. In a lot of industries, packaging especially, the product is the main focus; at Eco-pliant, the focus is on getting to know the customers and their specific needs, which is evident in all aspects of the business.


Restaurant and foodservice professionals can find more information on the Eco-pliant line of packaging solutions by visiting their website, call 650-733-6786, or send an email at info@ecopliant.com.

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  • McKee Foodservice
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  • Imperial Dade
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Day & Nite
  • RATIONAL USA
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