Celebrating Innovation: Gaia Prairie Band’s Groundbreaking Ceremony on Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Land

PBPN Tribal Council members join with officials from Prairie Band LLC and Gaia Eco for a groundbreaking ceremony.  This event marks a significant milestone as it will be the first business to be operational at the 150/75 development near Mayetta. Gaia Eco specializes in the manufacturing of biodegradable paper cups, lids, and straws. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s partnership with Gaia Eco plays a pivotal role in the Nation’s economic development efforts while also leading in the development of new ways to create sustainable products with a negative carbon footprint.

Pioneering Sustainability at the Heart of America
In a remarkable stride towards sustainability, Gaia Prairie Band, a trailblazer in eco-friendly paper products and packaging, recently hosted its groundbreaking ceremony for the first major project on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s land, just off Highway 75 and 150th Rd. This significant event highlights a pivotal moment for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and its wholly-owned economic development company, Prairie Band, LLC, reflecting the substantial collaboration, diligence, and effort that has already been poured into making this sustainable vision a reality.

A Future of Sustainable Impact
Scheduled to commence operations by early 2025, this state-of-the-art facility is poised to revolutionize the production of paper products. Jacob Wamego, President and CEO of Prairie Band, LLC, remarked, “By utilizing agricultural waste, including industrial hemp produced by our subsidiary, Prairie Band Ag, the facility will produce 100% sustainable paper goods, including cups, straws, and lids, along with molded fiber packaging. This initiative not only highlights the innovative use of natural resources but also aligns with the global shift towards sustainable development.” The project aims to add STEM jobs and increase revenue for Prairie Band’s economic initiatives.

Global Footprint, Local Impact
As an American company with a vast network of qualified contract partners spread across Asia, India, and Latin America, Gaia Prairie Band exemplifies the ideal partner for companies aiming to diversify their sourcing away from China. This network enables a swift, effective, and seamless transition to manufacturing alternatives that maintain cost-efficiency without compromising brand quality or identity. The presence of the Gaia operation on the reservation brings world-class sourcing, logistics and distribution to companies in virtually any industry and is expected to have rapid growth once opened.

Technological Advancements in Packaging
Gaia Prairie Band’s commitment to innovation is also evident in its development of proprietary packaging materials. Mark Majors, CEO and Managing Director of Gaia Eco and Gaia Ag noted, “These materials have successfully introduced new fiber options for boxes, making them stronger, lighter, and more cost-effective, all while eliminating the need to harvest trees.” This development is integral to the company’s strategy to reduce environmental impact and enhance product sustainability.

 Commitment to a Sustainable Future
With existing facilities in India and Brazil already producing 100% biodegradable paper cups and straws, and the new facility set to open on Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Land in late 2024, Gaia Prairie Band is dedicated to eliminating plastic from its products. The upcoming U.S. facility is pioneering technologies that ensure products are not only biodegradable but also compostable. This commitment underscores Prairie Band’s vision of building a more sustainable world through innovative and responsible practices.

The groundbreaking ceremony on Highway 75 and 150th Rd was not merely about celebrating the start of construction. It represented the dawn of a future where environmental responsibility and business growth go hand in hand. As Gaia Prairie Band continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in sustainable packaging, it stands as a beacon of innovation and an exemplar of how businesses can positively impact the environment and the communities they support.