For occasions such as brief family dinners, picnics, get-togethers, and basically any outdoor event, the best alternatives to regular ceramic or glass plates are disposable tableware. They are easy to use, practical and extremely convenient for these types of occasions. However, some of them such as paper or plastic plates are produced using materials that cannot be recycled and are therefore harmful to the environment.
Importance of Choosing Biodegradable and Compostable Disposables
Materials such as plastic or paper are non-biodegradable and when used for disposable tableware, they affect the environment negatively right from the manufacturing process, to the point of use and when they are eventually discarded. Also, using disposable tableware made with these materials can affect your health as well as the health of your family, and friends because many of them contain chemicals that can seep into food and result in contamination.
Due to the increasing concern for the environment, conventional disposable tableware is being replaced with bio-degradable tableware that are made from materials such as bamboo, palm leaves, grasses and waste obtained from sugar cane. These eco-friendly plates when discarded will biodegrade quickly, thereby serving as compost for growing plants.
You should make use of compostable dinnerware instead of non-degradable ones so as to contribute your quota to saving the environment. Unlike the Styrofoam or plastic tableware made from petroleum products or paper, the compostable tableware has immense benefits to the environment; they occupy a lesser percentage of landfills. In addition, you do not have to wash a ton of dishes because they are disposable and you will be doing the environment some good.
1) Bamboo Disposable Plates
The bamboo plant grows very rapidly and also gets degraded within six months, thus making it a great choice for making disposable plates. The process of making bamboo disposable plates involves cleaning the bamboo sheath, boiling, pressing and bonding them together using eco-friendly glue. After being used, the plates can be added to a compost heap and they will be biodegraded in four months or six months at most.
What are Bamboo Plates Suitable for?
This type of disposable plates can be used for outdoor events such as casual garden weddings, pool/garden bachelorette parties, conferences, picnics, birthdays, barbecues, quick family meals and almost any occasion.
They look nicer and are more durable than cheap plastic or paper tableware and can be used for any occasion where you would prefer not to use the regular ceramic plates, but still want a beautiful setting.
They are suitable for a wide range of food items including oily foods, salads, fruits, cheese, crackers, quiche, sandwiches and vegetables.
They are not as rigid as usual plates which makes them suitable for non-seating dinners. You can also use a knife and fork on these sturdy plates.
They come in different sizes; the larger ones can be used for full meals while the smaller sizes are ideal for side dishes and appetizers.
Other Benefits of Using Disposable Bamboo Plates
Unlike paper plates, bamboo plates can be used to serve wet, heavy or hot foods because they are tougher and can withstand larger quantities.
Bamboo plates beautiful, attractive and stylish when used and they complement any type of décor unlike the plastic and paper disposables.
Also, bamboo plates are naturally antimicrobial and do not contain any chemical that can leach into food when served because they are produced naturally, unlike plastic plates that can contaminate food with their chemicals.
2) Palm Leaf Plates
The Areca Palm tree is the most widely used plant for making disposable plates because is frond fall naturally to the ground very often. These fronts are very large and are used to make plates via a simple process that does not involve the use of any type of chemicals. The freshly fallen leaves are harvested, cleaned and dried in air. Thereafter, they are flattened, stretched and pressed using heat to form lovely patterns.
The process does not involve chemicals, thereby making palm leaf plates totally biodegradable. They are also the best option of natural and eco-friendly disposable tableware. It usually takes about 90 days for them to be biodegraded after disposal.
What are Palm Leaf Plates Suitable for?
These plates are beautiful, chic and very suitable for outdoor events as they perfectly blend into the outdoor environment. Their color and appearance makes them suitable for outdoor-themed parties, barbecues, get-together, country wedding, family reunions, and picnics. They are quite stylish and will add an extra touch to your event.
They are stronger than the paper plates and are therefore suitable for snacks, chips, sandwiches, vegetables and main courses.
They do not get soggy easily, but they are not suitable for hot or wet foods that will be served in them for long period.
Disposable palm leaf plates come in many different shapes and designs which makes them suitable for a wide range of events. The beauty, attractiveness and elegance of palm leaf plates is due to the fact that the leaves retain their natural textures and designs throughout the production process. The uniqueness of the designs will make your occasion more memorable and elegant.
They are very sturdy, leak-proof, heat resistant, and microwave-safe. They are thick and can be used to hold liquid and also for serving both hot and cold food. However, they cannot be used to store wet food for a very long time, because the plate will absorb moisture and may result in leakage.
The production process is free of all chemicals and therefore, the plate will not affect the taste of food or react with food items placed in it. They are also odorless, hygienic and rapidly biodegradable without any extra effort. “Industrial Composting Facility” not required for this type of disposable dinnerware.
3) Sugarcane Plates
The fiber obtained from sugar cane after the sugar juice has been extracted is also used to make disposable plates. The fiber is called bagasse and it is refined and knitted into home-compostable plates, bowls, and food containers. It can be discarded in a garden or compost heap where it will get biodegraded in no time.
What are Sugarcane Plates Great for?
They are more attractive than the conventional paper plates and are suitable for any outdoor party or family picnic.
They can also be used for casual outdoor wedding, a garden party, or backyard barbecues and as desert plates for a birthday party
These plates are light-weight, stronger than paper plates, but not as strong as plastic plates. They can be used to serve liquid or oily foods without leaking or tearing.
Sugarcane plates are usually brown in color, thus making them perfect for any home event. They can also be microwaved up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Which Biodegradable Plates Should You Choose?
You probably have already noticed that bamboo plates are the sturdiest of the three types and can be loaded with any kind of food without any problem. You can also use forks and knives on them. Palm leaf plates and sugar cane plates are also suitable for any type of party, especially for outdoor events. Just make sure to choose the best shape and size for your needs and don’t let them sit with liquid foods in them for a long time.