WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / Eco-Friendly Tips / Green Disposable Dinnerware Guide
fork and pencil
Green Disposable Dinnerware Guide

Green Disposable Dinnerware Guide

As more loyal customers are demanding a smaller carbon footprint from their favorite chain or local restaurant, the foodservice industry is focusing heavily on going green. Running a sustainable and eco-friendly establishment is a new standard, not just a distinguishing niche for marketing. Whether you run a takeout restaurant, concession stand, catering business, food truck, or you're just throwing a party, it's important to supply biodegradable and compostable products to all customers and guests. From plates and bowls to platters and trays, we have something for every market that's devoted to going green!

Using Compostable and Biodegradable Dinnerware

When you think of being sustainable in the foodservice industry, generally the first thought that comes to mind is the food source. You may ask, are these eggs from cage free chickens? Does this beef come from free range cows? Are these fruits and vegetables certified organic? There are many different questions you might ask about sustainability when it comes to preparing food.

However, you also need to consider the dinnerware all of this sustainable food is being served on. Traditional disposable products have received a bad reputation over the years and have created a lot of waste in landfills across the country. Due to the fact that they can take hundreds of years to decompose, many establishments are now shying away from traditional disposable options. Luckily, manufacturers today are jumping on the opportunity to create more eco-friendly products. Learn more about the green dinnerware options that go beyond traditional disposable dinnerware.

Environmental Certifications in Foodservice

It's also important to know that all the products in this guide are certified as compostable and/or biodegradable, and you will find one or both of the following certification labels on products' pages.

Symbol Description

Compostable. This product will degrade naturally into nutrient-rich organic materials when disposed with other compostable items, leaving no visible or toxic residue.

Biodegradable. Upon disposal, this product is capable of being broken down by biological microorganisms without harming the environment.

Compostable Bamboo Plates

Round compostable bamboo plate

Serving as an eco-friendly and elegant alternative to paper and plastic disposable products, bamboo dinnerware provides an upscale and attractive presentation for virtually any event! From trusted vendors such as Bambu, we offer only the best options of plates, forks, knives, and sporks! Made from 100% certified organic bamboo, each piece of dinnerware is biodegradable, compostable, and FDA approved. Every item is guaranteed chemical and pesticide free and contains no bleaches or dyes. Choose from round or square plates, all available in various sizes. Known for outstanding durability, bamboo won't bend or buckle with even the heftiest of portions, giving you and your guests peace of mind!

Biodegradable Wood Dinnerware

biodegradable wooden spoon

Much of our disposable flatware is made from FSC certified solid birch wood due to its ability to break down in as little as 80 days in an industrial composting facility. It also provides ultimate durability and strength, which makes it a desirable material for flatware. Also, since birch wood is a hard wood, its edges are incredibly smooth, so there's no need to worry about splinters or your food tasting like wood. Use this disposable birch wood flatware for full meal service, or hand out taste samplings at your market, bakery, ice cream shop, or cafe. We offer cups and cones made from pinewood for alternative serving options that demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

Eco-Friendly Palm Leaves

Heart-shaped eco-friendly palm leaf plate

Dinnerware made from palm leaves provides you with a naturally beautiful and functional option. Vendors such as Eco-gecko work to create durable and attractive products. Palm leaves are a by-product of acrea palm trees; and if these leaves aren't being used as a renewable resource to create dinnerware, they will most likely be collected and burned. These products are packaged and sent to customers in boxes and cartons also made from recycled paper. Take your pick from plates and bowls with an artistic flare! Square shaped dinnerware provides a modern appeal, or you can use heart shaped plates as disposable wedding dinnerware. There's an option for anything from small sides to full entrees!

Sugar Cane or Bagasse Dinnerware

White square sugarcane / bagasse plate

Boasting a fresh and crisp appearance, sugar cane or bagasse disposable dinnerware is another economical alternative to traditional, non-compostable products! Transform your cafeteria or food court by completely going green. Sugar cane or bagasse products are composed of a combination of bamboo and sugar cane. Bagasse is the by-product of the sugar cane fiber that is left after the juice has been extracted from the sugar cane. Bagasse products are extremely heat tolerant, making them microwaveable up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and great for re-heating purposes!

Disposable Kraft Paperboard

Round kraft paperboard plate

Kraft paperboard is another environmentally-friendly alternative for your catering event, deli, cafe, or market! Made from 100% unbleached paperboard, our Kraft plates have an added coating, which makes them cut and leak resistant. Unlike other plates with plastic (PET) coatings that will not break down over time, these Kraft plates feature a natural silicone based release finish that will deteriorate, ensuring the entire plate is compostable and biodegradable. These products also have a superior 3-ply strength and can be used in the microwave. Additionally, leftovers can be conveniently covered and stored in freezers that cool up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Biodegradable Polypropylene Dinner Plates

Black round polypropylene plate

Made of FDA-approved polypropylene material, these plates have special additives that allow them to biodegrade. Though the time it takes them to break down exceeds the limit required by many composting facilities, they can be recycled with other polypropylene products. They are also microwave safe so you can quickly re-heat meals before service, which is especially convenient for catering purposes.

Unbleached Kraft Paper Napkins

Wooden spoon on kraft napkin next to sugarcane plate with salad

Made from 100% recycled materials, these paper napkins are more environmentally friendly than comparable napkins. Many are also made of post consumer content to help promote a sustainable environment. These unbleached paper napkins will not release toxic bleaching chemicals into the environment after you dispose of them. Once used, they can simply be thrown away without contaminating the land or water with chemicals like traditional disposable napkins.

Now that you are more familiar with the various green dinnerware materials, check out all our other eco-friendly products that can help make your entire establishment a more sustainable place. From green take out containers, plastic cold cups, and flatware, to pizza boxes and carrier trays, we offer products for all aspects of the foodservice industry. We even have eco-friendly trash can liners or garbage bags and housekeeping chemicals. For more green initiative ideas, check out our related sources!

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