Since I published the Living without Plastic and ZeroWasteHome interview, I do nothing but wondering how we lightly use non-biodegradable materials as disposable ones, as with the plastic, that takes 400 years to disintegrate, not to mention the fact that eating in plastic plates it is not very healthy -specially if we heat them-.
For this reason, today I want to tell you about some biodegradable and disposable tableware options that represent a very convenient choice for your christmas parties, birthdays and picnics:
Eco-friendly tableware: a practice that has been taking place for centuries
Until the invention of the plastic, lots have been the materials employed by our ancestors to serve food: from bowls made from coconut husk or certain leaves to pots and plates made from clay or recyclable materials as tinplate or glass. To be honest, the “disposable” concept did not exist in these ages: you used the tableware and you washed it: end of story. But, with the arrival of plastic industry, all has changed: the mass production and the easiness to shape it has led to the disposable plastic invasion, that does not deteriorate in nature and that contributes to a large extent of the climatic change. This must be changed!
Disposable and sustainable tableware options
As we know, nowadays disposable tableware is very popular, so we want you to become aware of some eco-friendly alternatives that you can acquire and that would let you enjoy that party or picnic without complications and without polluting.
Aninteresting choice for your picnics or meetings are the bamboo plates, that are more and more often seen in bars, restaurants and take away food trucks. There are all kind of plates created with this material, even long-term ones made with bamboo fibre. One of the most popular shapes is this kind of small boat that seems adequate to serve individual portions and it is pretty affordable: only 30 cents per unit. Apart from eco-friendly, it is nice and innovative!
This alternative, besides from sustainable, it is appealing to me because it is also very useful. In India and Nepal leaf plates have been made for centuries: the Nepal ones are called Tapari and are made handmade in two different shapes with the sal tree leaves, that are sewed with bamboo or vegetable fibres. There are the ones made with green leaves, used for religious purposes and the dried leaves ones that are used in bars, restaurants and in food trucks. They resist very well hot and cold food and also liquids.
Leaves are not only an excellent resource to make plates, but trees do not suffer with its collection and its recollection also cleans the forests preventing fires.
In the Western world, a German company called Leaf Republic is intending to launch its own mass-produced leaves plates and in different shapes to use. By the moment the company is doing a crowfunding to recollect the money they need to create a production line to launch the project. I hope they achieve their goal soon!
Today it is very easy to find paper disposable flatware in almost every supermarket for less than 2€. They are nicer than the plastic ones, because they allow more customization, they are very resistant and, better than all: biodegradable.
It is urgent for us to become aware about what are the repercussions of the excessive use of disposable non-biodegradable materials. For example, France approved this September the elimination of all kind of disposable plastic containers. From 2020, this kind of products will have to be at least 50% biodegradable, and this percentage will increase with the years. You can read more about this here.
Besides the environmental consequences that implies to use a biodegradable plate, I also think that using this kind of products can add to the experience and you get close to nature doing something as simple as eating. For all these reasons, I encourage you to use sustainable plates whenever you can, using the long-lasting or disposable ones.
See you soon!