It’s National Taco Day, and besides stopping at Taco Bell for its one-day-only $5 Gift set (two Crunchy tacos and two Nacho Cheese Doritos® Locos Tacos), landscapers have another way to celebrate — using a Leaf Burrito®! “We would love to see a Leaf Burrito used in every yard on National Taco Day!” says Lauri Eberhart, CCO and government & legal affairs for Leaf Burrito. The Leaf Burrito is an eco-friendly reusable bag that not only eliminates the need for one-time use plastic and paper bags, but makes collecting and transporting all types of lawn and yard debris easy and efficient.
“Marc Mataya, the inventor and founder of Leaf Burrito, came up with the name after burrito’ing up (rolling up) a tarp filled with 20+ bags of leaves and dragging it to the curb for removal by the local municipality. This ‘AHA’ moment led to the invention,” says Eberhart. Invented, designed, and manufactured in the U.S.A, the product was launched in 2016 in Charlotte, NC where it received the SustainCharlotte.org-Sustainability 2017 Award in the Waste Reduction Category.
As cities like Charleston, NC move toward discontinuing picking up plastic bags, homeowners are left with paper bag options which are cumbersome and can tear or rot easily. Paper bags are also still single-use items, carrying a large carbon footprint to produce and distribute.
In a two-year test case done by North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, 75,000 large two-ply paper bags were given away to homeowners for free each year. Both years yielded a return rate (or use) of less than 10%, showing that homeowners want a more user-friendly solution. Leaf Burrito, on the other hand, has a nearly 100% usage rate after purchase, reportedly. Some customers even choose to buy an extra one for peak debris weeks.
Constructed of customized industrial-grade mesh and heavy-duty YKK® zippers, Leaf Burrito has 10 strong handles for ergonomic loading and lifting onto trailers or trucks and comes in five foot and seven foot zipped-length sizes. For big cleanups or as a trailer cover, multiple Leaf Burritos can be zipped together.
“Our big 2021 goal is to use 100% local USA recycled plastic waste to create the components of our entire product. Not only does our product eliminate the need for single-use bags and tarps, but we will also convert our landfill-destined plastic waste into a functional and durable eco-friendly product,” says inventor and CEO Marc Mataya. The company also plans to give back to communities by donating 5% of revenues to new greenway expansion projects.
This past July, the company expanded into two high-volume production facilities in Jamestown and Burkesville, KY, which is expected to create 100 jobs in Kentucky in various capacities by the end of 2020. Ideally, the creation of 1000+ new jobs are forecast within three years. Mataya comments, “One of my favorite things about the very simple design of the product is that it can create thousands of Kentucky jobs. Its construction is comprised of only cutting, sewing and screen printing. There are no batteries, bulbs, or beeps.”
In addition, Leaf Burrito’s staff attended the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) annual meeting in Tacoma, WA. “Attending PGMS was an exceptional face-to-face opportunity for us to hear first-hand about the industry’s needs and pain points. The more we learned from these experts, the more we discovered that the Leaf Burrito fulfills many of these business needs in a variety of ways that we never even considered. As a result, we’ve added many new clients including a national tree care company, multiple universities, a high-end resort hotel horticulture center, and botanical gardens,” says Eberhart.
Leaf Burrito® will be at the GIE+EXPO trade show in Louisville, KY on October 16-18, 2019 at BOOTH #27083.