“Paper or plastic?” It’s not just the question you have to answer as you’re checking out at the grocery store. It’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself as you plan an event where porcelain plates aren’t an option. You have an abundance of choices when it comes to sets of single-use dinnerware, but all the shapes and colors on the market come down to one distinction, and on this occasion, it’s a distinction with a difference. Confused? We’ll show you how to choose between paper and plastic dinnerware as you set your table.
The Pros and Cons of Paper
“Go green” is the mantra of the 2020s, and it’s no surprise as to why. We can hear the clock ticking against us when it comes to climate change and sustaining our natural resources. With that in mind, the intuitive choice for disposable dinnerware would appear to be paper products, which use a renewable resource rather than their petroleum-based plastic competitors. Seems obvious, right? Not so fast. Those paper products might be more plastic than you think. While paper plates aren’t 100-percent waterproof—ask anyone who’s ever tried to eat watermelon off of one—they do benefit from a thin layer of a petroleum-derived wax that makes them more resistant to liquids and much less biodegradable. Once you’ve eaten from paper dinnerware, forget about recycling them—recycling facilities can’t treat them, so they’re headed to the landfill where they’ll sit beside the pizza boxes and milk cartons.
Plastic Dinnerware: Benefits and Drawbacks
It’s an inescapable truth—North America produces a lot of garbage, and we’re not just talking about what’s on basic cable all day. Amid the tons of trash, you’ll find lots and lots of plastic. Much of it will wind up buried, where it won’t break down for centuries. Some of it even winds up in our oceans, forming a veritable island of rubbish. Fortunately for you and the earth, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If you’re so inclined, you can wash single-use plastic dinnerware at the end of the party and send it to recycling, where the materials can resurface in new products rather than rotting away—or failing to do so—underground. With a little work on your part, plastic dinnerware can be a sustainable choice.
Which Is Right for Me?
If you’re throwing a small, casual party, you can get by with paper dinnerware. But if you’ve put together a guest list and are trying to impress, consider one of the attractive assortments of single-use plastic dinnerware from Smarty Had a Party. If you still don’t know how to choose between paper and plastic dinnerware, there’s a third way—palm-leaf dinnerware and other biodegradable party supplies from Smarty Had a Party are attractive, durable, and eminently eco-friendly.