WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / Disposables / Disposable Dinnerware Buying Guide
fork and pencil
Disposable Dinnerware Buying Guide

Disposable Dinnerware Buying Guide

Choosing the right type of disposable dinnerware is a big decision for your business. Simplify your selection process by learning about the various options available, including the benefits and limitations, so that you can choose the best fit for your business!

Pros and Cons to Disposable Dinnerware

Adding convenience, disposable dinnerware eliminates the fear of breakage that comes with glass, china, or porcelain dinnerware. Plus, it cuts down on cleanup time. Consider the below when looking to use it in your food service business:


  • Leak-proof design
  • Cut-resistant and non-absorbent
  • Many color options available
  • Not as eco-friendly as other products
  • More expensive option


  • Takes less energy to create than paper alternatives
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Strong insulating abilities
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Non-microwaveable


  • Uses less storage space than other options
  • Most items available are microwave-safe
  • Environmentally-friendly design compared to other materials
  • Uncoated products may absorb grease and other food remnants
  • May bend or fold when used with heavy food
Green salad in a eco-friendly clamshell container

Green Dinnerware

Looking for a more sustainable dinnerware choice to create or uphold a "green" image at your event? If that's the case then our vast selection of biodegradable plates and compostable plates, platters, bowls, and trays is sure to capture your attention! Additionally, with many cities moving to ban Styrofoam and single-use plastics, making the switch to eco-friendly products is more popular than ever.

It's important to understand the characteristics and different features of these eco-friendly products. There are various options out there that are biodegradable or compostable. These materials include bamboo, wood, palm leaves, biodegradable polypropylene, and other important materials. To understand the full range of options and materials, check out this Green Disposable Dinnerware Guide.


Made from high quality, renewable materials, our selection of biodegradable and compostable dinnerware helps cut down on landfill buildup. In addition to all these "green" qualities, these products are still manufactured with the customers' needs in mind, meaning they don't sacrifice all the great benefits of the other disposable dinnerware. Bamboo, wood, and palm leaf items even maintain durability. From plates, platters, and trays that offer cut, oil, and water resistance to microwave safe bowls, the quality of these biodegradable and compostable products remains exemplary!

If you're looking to use a green product to accomplish a specific goal, reference the glossary below to help you find the right type of item during your search:

Eco-Friendly Dinnerware Terms:

Biodegradable - A product is considered biodegradable if it can be naturally broken down by microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi, over a period of time. This type of product is usually made from plant or animal resources.

Compostable - Items are considered compostable when they can decompose and decay into water, carbon dioxide, or nutrient-rich, reusable biomass, at the same rate as paper without releasing harmful toxins.

Degradable - These products are oil-based and cannot break down naturally like biodegradable items can. Rather, degradable products are broken down through chemical reactions in anaerobic environments. Their decomposition results in water, carbon dioxide, biomass, or trace elements.

Recyclable - This simply means the product can be reused and made into something new and different after it's discarded.

Renewable - A product is renewable if it comes from a tree, plant, or other living organism that is capable of regenerating itself. The production of renewable materials will therefore not deplete the renewable resources they come from. These are also biodegradable.

Plastic Dinnerware

Looking to supply an upscale event or searching for a disposable material with a lot of options for decorating purposes? Then plastic dinnerware is the choice for you! From casual everyday settings to special occasions, there is a variety of styles to meet your application needs. Since it is leak-proof, cut-resistant, and non-absorbent, this dinnerware is a reliable option. It also comes in a diverse array of style options, from plastic plates with bands to scalloped or wavy edged.

Our plastic dinnerware has the convenience of plastic with the elegant look of china. Coming in vibrant colors, we offer bowls and plates that can be mixed and matched for a complete meal setting. For special occasions, consider even using these serving bowls or this perfectly portioned petite plastic dinnerware. This allows guests to self-serve anything from dips to large salads, or sample delicious appetizers and sweet samplers.

Best of all, these items take the hassle out of clean up afterwards, since everything is easy to dispose. We also have plastic accessories to accompany your place settings. Or for environmentally-friendly operations, consider using green and biodegradable plasticware.
Garden-fresh salad in a black plastic serving bowl on top of a blue tablecover

Serving & Display Ware

Foam Dinnerware

If you're supplying dinnerware for a casual setting, foam dinnerware is the perfect option. Great for barbecues or picnics, our foam dinnerware offers excellent insulation and temperature retention, while being lightweight and strong enough to hold full meals and entrees. Coming in basic colors like black, white, and beige, it will blend in perfectly with your other decorations and accessories. Plus, with our plates and bowls it's easy to create a complete table setting.

With brands like Dart Solo and Genpak, you can rest assured that this foam dinnerware will provide reliable use. Whether you need a basic and simple non-laminated piece to a superior non-absorbency, cut-resistance insulated item, we have something for you! This dinnerware will ensure your food is served at just the right temperature.

Paper Dinnerware

Are space-efficiency and eco-friendly products high priorities for your business? If so, then paper dinnerware is a great choice for you! With its thinner and more flexible construction in comparison to other disposable dinnerware options, paper dinnerware stacks extremely well and can fit in cabinets, on shelves, and in other tight areas. Additionally, since many are microwave safe, it's easy to re-heat product and serve all on the same dish. Another great feature of our paper selection, is that most items are biodegradable and compostable!

Most important to note with paper disposable options is that you can purchase a variety of paper materials. Each type has its own set of benefits that you'll want to consider to find the best fit to match your application needs. Consider the following materials below:
  • Higher resistance to liquids and grease
  • Great for heavier, saucy foods like tender meat or pasta
Corrugated Paperboard
  • Cut- and leak-resistant surface great for saucy food product
  • 3-ply, multi-layer construction is sturdy and works well for events
Sugarcane / Bagasse
  • Biodegradable design can break down without causing environmental harm
  • Premium and sturdy, natural feel
Wheat Fiber
  • Compostable design can naturally degrade into rich organic material in a compost facility
  • Attractive, natural-looking presentation adds an elegant touch
  • More eco-friendly than plastic
  • Cost effective, economical option for your business
Perfect for events, these plates are handy for side salads, appetizers, or entrees. Some styles even provide compartments, which is helpful with portion control and keeping product separate. Light and easy for guests to carry, paper dinnerware can also match your decor with ease. Coming in color options ranging from basic shades to bright and vibrant colors, paper disposables are a timeless solution!

Join Our Mailing List

Receive coupon codes and more right to your inbox.

Make money with our recipes
Recipe converter
WebstaurantStore blog
Videos of demonstrations, how-tos and more