Disposable Dinnerware: 9 Alternatives to Plastic

Disposable Dinnerware: 9 Alternatives to Plastic

Lauren Zerbey
May 2, 2011

With summer right around the corner, it's time to starting thinking about picnics and outdoor cookouts! While there is no shortage of ideas and recipes when it comes to organic and sustainable ingredients, finding the best product to put that food on can be a bit trickier. For small crowds or backyard events, the greenest option might just be to use the dishes you have on hand, but there are certainly those occasions that call for something lighter and more portable. Non-degradable plastic and paper from virgin trees have been commonplace for years, but fortunately there are now greener alternatives when it comes to disposable dinnerware.

Top Row:

1 Wasara- Elegantly designed and 100% tree-free, these products are made from sugar cane fiber, bamboo and reed pulp. They're suitable for hot and cold items and are fully biodegradable and compostable.
2 Preserve - Although still made from plastic, Preserve uses 100% recycled #5 polypropylene. The plates are also 100% recyclable and designed to be used hundreds of times (and dishwasher safe!), which makes them a good alternative for repeat use.
3 Veneerware - Made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, these products from Bambu are sturdy enough for a full plate of food, yet will biodegrade 4-6 months after disposal.
4 Verterra - Made of only two products - fallen leaves and water, these plates will naturally biodegrade about 2 months after disposal.
5 Bare by Solo - Mainstream dinnerware company Solo offers a compostable product line made from renewable sugar cane.

Bottom Row:

6 100% Bagasse Products (via Branch Home) - Bagasse (also known as sugar cane fiber), is a byproduct of the sugar refining process. Fully biodegradable and compostable, these products can be used in the microwave or freezer and are sturdier than standard paper plates.
7 Chinet - Made from 100% pre-consumer recycled material (collected from the manufacturing of milk carton stock and paper), Chinet advertises their products as fully biodegradable and compostable.
8 Palm Leaf Products - Created from fallen leafs of the Adaka palm tree, the leafs are collected, washed, dried and then molded into plates using a heated press. They are fully biodegradable and compostable yet strong enough to hold up to hot and cold foods as well as serrated knives.
9 World Centric - These products are made from bagasse and wheatgrass (the remaining plant material after the wheat grain and chaff have been extracted) and will biodegrade within 90 days in a home composting bin.

(Images: As Linked)

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