Episode 151: John Oakley and Tim Busby
Apr 21, 2021, Updated Jun 11, 2021
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When John Oakley and Tim Busby came together to create Matter™, they were dead set on creating a product that can truly be a one-to-one alternative to single use plastics. Matter™ compostables are biodegradable, free from heavy metals, FDA approved and making it easy for you to improve your sustainability efforts.
When you visit NatureStar’s Matter™ website, you might be confused when you see “allergen free”, “gluten free”, “non-GMO”. Reading those disclosures are typically only seen on food labels! Instead, the Matter product line includes snack bags, sandwich bags, storage bags, kitchen bags, food wrap, plates, bowls, cutlery, straws and much more. As John Oakley and Tim Busby like to say, Matter compostables are “from nature, back to nature” and developed from a polymer that literally breaks down back to nature, unlike plastic.
Polymer? Back to nature? What does that exactly mean? Most disposable products, like plates, cutlery, cups, plastic bags, and so on, are derived from oil and end up in a landfill where the product won’t break down for hundreds or thousands of years. In a matter (no pun intended) of months, the Matter™ products will compost and disappear into soil because they’re made from all natural, renewable and sustainable fibers. This creates something called biomass, which is like an enhancer for soil and makes a bit of water in the process.
Through composting, microorganisms will consume the material and create biomass, which is like an enhancer for soil and makes a bit of water in the process and goes through photosynthesis. The Matter compostables give back to nature and can be used over again through this sustainable process, unlike plastics which last hundreds and thousands of years.
Think plates and knives made from biodegradable plant materials can’t hold up a good, hearty meal? Think again! Even Lori Taylor herself has tested the Matter™ plates, serving her family steaks without worrying if the steak knives would cut through the disposable dish. Even if Matter compostables end up in a traditional landfill or dump, they will still break down in a much shorter time period when they come into contact with microbes since the products are made of starch. Some of the products don’t even take months to break down, they take a few weeks!
This product is huge for the US who is behind in terms of composting or sustainability efforts to other countries like the UK. Retailers like Target have picked up on the great opportunity Matter™ products offer consumers and, not to brag, but the company was allotted 20 shelf slots at Target stores from the getgo which is almost unheard of! Even their straws have rave reviews compared to paper ones, which unravel, dissolve, and are either too flexible or not flexible enough.
“We’ve developed a straw, and it’s not a plastic straw or a paper straw, it doesn’t unravel, it doesn’t dissolve, it’s flexible… we’ve tried to replicate what people are used to in their everyday lives without causing a problem for Mother Earth.” – John Oakley (18:57-19:15)
Not only are you giving back to Mother Earth and making our planet long-lasting for our future generations, you’re also giving back to veterans with every Matter™ purchase you make. The company is partnered with Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to spouses and children of disabled and deceased American veterans, and gives a portion of every purchase to the charity.
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