Your wedding day is fast approaching and you need a sustainable solution for the tableware your guests will be using throughout the day. Sustainability is something so many people are choosing to embrace in their lifestyle and we’re seeing this happen more and more at weddings. While it may seem challenging to plan your eco friendly wedding, it's not as difficult as you would think. One of the easiest ways to have a more sustainable wedding is by choosing tableware that is natural, biodegradable and won’t end up in a landfill. Using eco friendly disposable plates is the single best way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding day. Using biodegradable plates is so important because unlike plastic plates, they naturally break down instead of overwhelming landfills and hurting our planet. According to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), if the current situation of waste continues and action is not taken, landfill sites will account for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.
Every little step that we take now can impact our Earth and generations to come, and the fact that you are here, reading this article, is a great first step. As Jane Goodall said, “what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
With so many options to choose from, which one is the best option for you? You need eco plates which are durable, lightweight, and leak-proof so you can serve a variety of different foods. And of course they must absolutely look natural, chic and unique! We’ve put together a list of the top 5 eco friendly disposable plates that are all long-lasting, affordably priced, and sure to wow all your guests.
We believe that the best disposable plates are made of palm leaves. Palm leaf plates are created from sheaths that have naturally fallen from Areca Palm trees. Nothing is cut from the trees, and no trees are destroyed, so it’s a completely sustainable practice, only using leaves that have naturally fallen to the ground.
Once collected, the Areca sheaths are thoroughly cleaned with high pressure water, before being left out to air dry. After they have dried, these sheaths are heat compressed into plates, trays, and bowls of various shapes and sizes. Multiple plates can be created from a single sheath, so you can get lots of use from this natural resource.
Since the trees are left alone, they can continue to flourish and grow more leaves which creates a continuous supply of palm leaves. These Areca palm tree leaves are perfect for plates because they are durable and they have a gorgeous light-brown color that gives a very chic, relaxed and elegant aesthetic, making them perfect for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, and next day brunch gatherings.
Chic Leaf’s brand of palm leaf plates are the best on the market, ensuring that the quality of the plates and the price is competitive, making the brand the leader in the palm leaf dinnerware space. Catering companies, chefs, wedding event planners, coordinators and decoration assistants all rave about Chic Leaf’s line of palm leaf dinnerware. The plates are lightweight yet sturdy, heat and leak-resistant, and don’t feature any artificial dyes. They are the perfect choice for a stylish, zero-waste wedding!
Non-sustainable wedding plates don’t decompose and will end up at the landfill. However, these natural palm leaf plates are completely biodegradable, which means the material naturally degrades over time and doesn’t create waste.
Chic Leaf is dedicated to creating elegant, minimalist plates whilst still being mindful of its customers. Unlike other companies, Chic Leaf doesn’t include any harmful toxins or chemicals to get its beautiful color. The plates are 100% natural. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your guests will be safe while eating from these plates and that our Earth is protected by ensuring that these plates don’t end up in waste sites and landfills.
The second disposable tableware option is compostable plates made of straw wheat. As we mentioned above with palm leaf plates, compostable means that the plates don’t have to be sent to a landfill, they simply turn themselves into soil without you needing to do anything, therefore reducing landfill waste. However unlike palm leaf plates, wheat plates are not as durable and therefore can sag when holding hot or cold liquid and heavier foods.
Wheat plates are created from a by-product of wheat, which means they can be put in a compost heap or simply on your garden floor. Over time the plates will decompose and turn into nutritious soil which you can use in your garden. This allows you to use plates that put goodness back into the earth, and it will save you money on soil!
The plates don’t require any non-sustainable materials, just wheat which will always be a renewable resource. Wheat plates typically don’t contain any dyes or chemicals, and the brown color gives it a nice rustic aesthetic, making these plates idea for farmhouse style weddings. Its also important to note they have a look similar to paper plates, so if you are looking for a premium looking disposable plates, we wouldn't recommend these.
Third on our list are disposable bamboo plates, which can be a suitable option for weddings. Bamboo plants can be found in parts of Asia and Africa and the material is popular because of its light brown coloring.
Disposable Bamboo plates are lightweight and smooth which makes them great to hold wedding food.
The rich, neutral color of the bamboo may complement meals at your wedding, but keep in mind they can look a bit generic as unlike palm plates they don't have unique and beautiful patterns to make your table settings really special.
Recently there has been some concern about the different ways bamboo plates are made. To create the plates, bamboo must be broken down into a powder and bound with a resin.
Companies will sometimes use a binder called melamine. Melamine is much cheaper to use, but the FDA has deemed it a health risk as it can leak into food, causing kidney and urinary infections. For this reason, you should ensure that your bamboo plates don’t contain any melamine.
We feel this makes bamboo plates a risky option if you are looking to put together a true zero waste and sustainable eco friendly wedding. In contrast, palm leaf plates are the best of both worlds so a much better option for your eco wedding.
It’s also important to note that unlike palm leaf plates, bamboo plates should never be put in the microwave or oven, as heating them up in this way can cause the resin to leak.
Compostable paper plates are am option for your wedding dinnerware, but in our opinion they very basic. If you want to make your wedding day truly special, there are premium looking eco plates in our list that don't cost significantly more.
Statistically speaking standard paper accounts for approximately 25% of landfill waste. Although standard paper plates do break down, this process can take up to 5 years, which is far too slow. By opting for compostable plates, the breaking down process cuts down to just a few months.
This natural dinnerware can be used for one occasion and once it has been cleaned, you simply need to put it in the compost bin. It will naturally decompose into soil, and this process should take 6 months to complete. By the end of the composting period, you will be left with zero waste and high-nutrient soil for your garden! If you don’t have a compost unit, you can also donate your compostable plates to a local composting company, where they will take care of it.
Compostable paper plates use cornstarch which is durable, heat-resistant, as well as being leak-free. The plates can hold most types of food, but since they are made from paper, serving food that is hot or with sauce may be challenging since it may leak through the plate. Paper plates, despite the added cornstarch, aren't as durable as palm leaf plates. In addition, they don't offer that luxurious, elegant feel that many couples are looking for on their wedding day.
Overall, compostable paper plates can be a decent option if you're looking top host a simple low-key wedding.
Our final choice for disposable wedding plates is recycled sugarcane or bagasse plates. Sugarcane is a renewable material, so unlike other finite materials, it can be continuously regrown and harvested without damaging the earth.
Sugarcane plates are naturally biodegradable and this process can be completed in as little as three months.
The material is created from bagasse, which is what is left over after the sugarcane juice has been taken from the plants. The bagasse used to be thrown away as waste, but luckily eco-focused companies have recently discovered that they could use it to make sustainable plates.
The plates are more durable and grease-resistant than paper plates which means they can securely hold lots of hot food without breaking down like other weak party plates. The material is also thick and cut-resistant, so your guests will not damage the plates as they slice into their food.
Although the plates are made from sugarcane, they have no sweet taste to them, so they will not interfere with the flavors of your wedding food.
To summarize, in this article we explained how easy it is to choose a more sustainable dinnerware option for your wedding day, one that will surely impress your guests and also protect our precious planet. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:
All of us share a responsibility to protect the planet, and choosing some eco-friendly wedding plates from our Top 5 list is a great start!
We strongly feel palm leaf plates are the best choice for a wedding. This is because they have a perfect mix of beautiful, unique, chic, rustic, and elegant for your wedding day. They also are very durable and hold all types of food and the best part of all, they are 100% biodegradable and compostable. These plates are truly created with our precious Earth in mind and will make your wedding look classy and elegant and all of your guests will enjoy eating from these beautiful plates.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! And thank you for choosing to reduce the impact to our planet.