Taking the trash out of landfills – Iowa City businessmen expand green market

The Hamburg Inn is a local restaurant that uses Greenway products. Photo by Elizabeth Beers, Flickr

Three Iowa City residents founded Greenway Bioplastics, a company that creates biodegradable tableware, to-go containers and more in an effort to keep waste from piling up and make some green.

The Des Moines Register reported on the efforts of Hicham Elhani, Can Dogan and Aziz Boussrhane, who have established a for-profit business that helps locals be more environmentally friendly.  Greenway is already working with seven local businesses and is looking to expand.

“Our aim is for nothing to hit the landfill, basically, and for it to be used another way,” Dogan said.

The idea began when Boussrhane’s cousin told him about a similar company he was involved with in China.

At the time, Elhani was the only one living in Iowa City, but they decided to locate the business there because of residents’ progressive attitudes toward the environment and its connection to one of the primary resources their products are made from: corn.

Although they do not manufacture their own products, they hope to in coming years, Dogan said. Many products are made from a corn substitute for plastic.

“We have a lot of corn that gets exported, manufactured and then comes back here, so it’s definitely a good place to introduce that,” said Dogan, who moved from Denver. Boussrhane moved to Iowa City from Chicago.

Greenway has seven restaurant clients in Iowa City, Elhani said, but the men are looking to expand within the food service market and into grocery stores.

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