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Food is the main attraction of any significant event or party. In such an event, hiring a caterer and choosing tableware or plates are the most challenging tasks. There is a trend of using disposable plates at most parties, however those can harm the environment in many ways.
Have you ever thought about what happens when we throw disposable plates in the trash? We don’t care about how much waste the parties produce through tableware, however most of those plates end up in landfills and never decompose.
Plastic plates contribute most to this waste. In a year, the US wastes 40 billion plastic product items. The problem is that many of these products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Chemicals used when producing disposable plastic and paper plates and utensils can also be dangerous to human health.
Mostly, parties and wedding foods are heavy and need strong plates and cutlery. If you are planning to have few eco-friendly items in your event, you should consider plates first.
Nowadays, you will find plenty of companies that provide biodegradable, environmentally friendly plates for parties and other events. These plates are made of sustainable and renewable sources. They also come in attractive colors and styles.
How Disposable Plates and Utensils Harm the Environment?
No chance to recycle
As most of the paper and plastic plates contain food residue, they will not be recycled even if the material is originally recyclable. Most of the time they are just thrown away with regular waste.
Polluting through production
Even paper production puts a huge burden on the environment, not to mention plastic. Large volumes of dangerous chemicals are used in both processes. Using chlorine based chemicals to whiten paper products is especially hazardous to living organisms.
Disposable Plates Covering the Surface
You will find disposable plates and utensils everywhere, as plastic plates do not decompose. Micro-organisms cannot eliminate this type of waste, therefore farming lands, waterways, lakes, seas and the oceans are full of disposable items. These items are slowly covering the whole surface of the earth.
Hazardous to Health
Toxins released from disposable plates create health issues like cancer, obesity, infertility, and others. We indirectly consume these toxins while eating hot meals on disposable plastic plates, especially if we microwave those plastic items. 
What Plate Materials Are Biodegradable?
Given below are the top 5 plate materials that are eco-friendly, decomposable and biodegradable:
#1 Palm Leaf
People consider palm leaf as the top choice for biodegradable plates. Plate manufacturers collect fallen leaves to make the plates. Such practices avoid deforestation. They clean the leaves with turmeric water to make them ready for use.
These plates are lightweight as well as stylish. You can efficiently serve hot foods on these plates. 100% biodegradable and it’s sustainable production with zero chemicals make them a popular among choice.
#2 Recycled Paper
Some readers may disagree with our idea of including paper in the category of biodegradable products. However, paper is very much biodegradable and sustainable when compared with plastics.
A paper plate will decompose latest in five years, whereas plastic may take hundreds of years. You will also find plenty of paper options, which are recycled and thus do not result in deforestation.
You can find paper plates in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Paper plates are fragile. They typically can’t handle heavy food items.
Birchwood provides 100% biodegradable plates. It will decompose in 80 days. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies the use of birchwood to make eco-friendly plates.
Birchwood provides a variety of shapes and sizes to make biodegradable plates. Most people prefer wooden color. Each plate provides a different pattern, so looks very natural. The manufacturing process, does not emit harmful chemicals. You can serve hot or cold food on these, they are microwaveable and freezer-proof.
Sugarcane plants provide 100% biodegradable material. It will decompose in 3 months. Bagasse, the fiber-rich part of the sugarcane plant, is used to manufacture these plates.
Manufactures mix bagasse with reagents to make the final product. Mostly, it comes in white color.
You can enjoy heavy as well as hot food on these plates. Some manufacturers design microwave-safe sugarcane plates.
#5 Disposable Bamboo
Bamboo has gained immense popularity in recent times. Bamboo plates give a wood-like feeling. These plates are more durable than wood plates. Plates are made of matured bamboo sheaths that fall from the plant after 2-3 years, so the plant is not necessarily damaged.
Bamboo plates are biodegradable. The material breaks down in a few months. You can create all shapes and sizes of plates with bamboo. It is useful for heavy-duty purposes. Every bamboo plate will provide a unique pattern to make the experience more natural.
Top 5 Disposable Plates Products for Weddings and Parties
#1 Dixie Ultra 10″ Heavy-Weight Paper Plates by GP PRO
When we look for disposable plates, there are quite a few aspects we take into account. And the Dixie Ultra heavy-weight paper plates have everything that you’d like it to.
The most important aspect is that they are soak-proof which means it will keep moisture and grease from leaking through the plates. They are also pretty durable with the multi-layer structure and design.
These paper plates are completely biodegradable and meet the standards set by Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). They are also USDA certified, biobased. They are perfect for wedding party celebrations.
- Heavy duty
- Soak-proof shield
- Somewhat pricey
#2 Tellus Products, Eco-Friendly 10-inch Disposable Plates
These premium plates provide high quality experience, they can be used in microwave or freezer without problems. The material is sugarcane fiber, making it fully compostable . The product is made in USA, non-GMO and Kosher certified.
The plates come in 125 piece packages they are completely oil and grease resistant. The plates are very good for everyday use, but the brownish color does not look very fancy, so it may not be the best choice for exclusive events.
- Can be used in microwave or freezer
- Kosher certified
- Brownish color
#3 Humble Green Natural Compostable Plate and Utensil Set
This disposable plate and utensil set is made of fully biodegradable plastic derived from sugarcane and cornstarch fibre. The set contains 50 9″ dinner plates and 7″ dessert plates plus cutlery. The set is ideal for both hot and cold food, you can use it safely on outdoor events such as BBQ parties.
The fully compostable dinnerware set biodegrades and leaves no toxic residue, so totally environment friendly.
- Fast Decomposition Cycle
- Available in brown and white color
- Made from pesticide free plants
- Not ideal for upscale events
#4 Infinite Baembu – Bamboo Disposable Plates Dinnerware Set – 25PK Square 9″ Bamboo Plates
These ivory color bamboo plates are ideal for more upscale events. They are high quality and look really beautiful. The product is 100% compostable, disposable, but can also be reused, so it may be cost effective despite the high price.
The package contains only 25 plates, this makes the price quite high, but at the end of the day you receive a very high quality product. Infinite baembu also produces nice cutlery with similar characteristics. The product is BPA free and free from any other toxins.
- Beautiful finish
- Ideal for upscale events
- Sustainable and renewable
- Can be reused
- Very durable
- Toxin free
#5 Eco-Products Compostable Sugarcane Plates
Eco-products are known for their compostable plates. It provides sustainable food packaging products. Sugarcane plates manufactured by Eco-products are used to carry heavy meals. It is a 9-inch diameter round plate, but it is available in various different sizes from 6 to 10 inches and also in round, oval and square shape. The renewable sugarcane fiber makes the plates eco-friendly.
It provides soaking resistance while using the plate. It will compost in two months, which is quite fast. Eco-products provide 500 plates in a case. It is the best choice for picnics, weddings, office parties, and daily use, providing a great zero waste alternative to plastic plates.
- Leakage Resistant
- Strong, cut resistant
- Oil Resistant
- Comes in many sizes and shapes
- Only white color availability
- Sides are a bit too wide, can hold less food
So which on is the best biodegradable plate?
Among all discussed products, Dixie Ultra 10″ Heavy-Weight Paper Plates by GP PRO satisfy most of the required criteria. They are handy, strong, leakage resistant, and affordable. If we talk about the environmental point of view, it is biodegradable. The manufacturing process leaves zero waste. It does not harm the environment through unhealthy gases. It is 91% compostable cellulose fiber thus eco-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Which biodegradable plates are freezer, microwave, and oven friendly?
Ans: among various plates, sugarcane plates, bamboo plates and paper plates can go in the freezer. Sugarcane plates are also microwave friendly. The lifetime of bamboo plates may decrease if you put them into the microwave.
Q2: How many days compostable plates take to break down?
Ans: it depends upon the material used to manufacture that plate. It varies from 45 days to 90 days as per the material used.
Q3: Paper plates can handle hot foods but not microwave friendly. Why?
Ans: microwave temperature is more than edible hot food. Microwaves can also loosen the lower seam of the plate. In some cases, the paper plates can also catch fire in the microwave.
Q4: Is it advisable to use plastic cutlery if I recycle it after use?
Ans: First, you can’t recycle the whole disposable plastic plates due to the food dirt added. Second, plastic plates emit dangerous gases while manufacturing. So, even if you recycle them, they have contaminated the environment. Better to avoid these products.
Q5: Are Biodegradable plates good?
Ans: Yes, they are more environmentally friendly. They don’t emit toxic gases and most of them degrade without any residue.