April 13, 2024
Disposable Cutlery Recycling Process and Alternatives

Single-use plastic is very present in everyday life because it is used to make disposable utensils, especially disposable tableware. The question then arises: Can the disposable plastic used to make the plates and cutlery be recycled? The answers to your questions. 

Disposable cutlery recycling: how to recycle it?  

Disposable plastic plates, cups, meal trays, and cutlery are commonly used by catering professionals. They alone represent tons of waste per year. However, it is well known that white or transparent plastic resulting from the refining of oil contains chemical substances that are toxic to the environment and to health. As a result, disposable plastic tableware is no longer the only option available on the market today, despite has its advantages.

Faced with this massive use, many wonder if disposable plates and cutlery are recyclable. In reality, all plastic items labeled with the number 6 can be recycled. Indeed, almost all items end up incinerated or buried. After use, they must therefore be thrown away with household waste.

Disposable cutlery recycling: what are the ecological alternatives? 

To reduce the environmental impact, specialists in food packaging and disposable tableware offer various more ecological alternatives to plastic: 

Compostable and biodegradable cutlery

There is now a wide choice of biodegradable and compostable items on the market. They are especially prized for their reusable nature, their resistance, and above all their ecological index. Indeed, these accessories are devoid of chemicals. They have been designed to break down completely after use, although some items require the installation of ‘ an industrial composting process. _ _ Wooden cutlery, for example, is appreciated for its design and natural appearance. It will bring elegance to your table decoration.

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Recycled cutlery

These are the easiest items to access. However, it is necessary to remain cautious and to be well informed about the composition of the materials and their usefulness to the environment. Among the main choices are: 

  • Agricultural waste, such as sugar cane bagasse
  • Recycled polystyrene _ _
  • recycled plastic

Edible cutlery

Edible cutlery is the new alternative to single-use plastic cutlery. This concept is very popular in India. For the moment, only the spoons are available for the general public. They are made from a mixture of rice, jowar flour, and wheat. They resist both cold and high temperatures

The “take your dishes” operation

The best solution to reduce the use of rigid plastic is to bring your own dishes when possible. Indeed, at the office, you can very well do without disposable cups and bring your own cup. Similarly, for your lunches, bring your stainless steel cutlery kit so you don’t have to buy any. There is nothing greener than reusable items. 

What are the new ecological materials? 

New ecological materials have appeared. We can cite: 

  • Wood: a material of vegetable origin which makes it possible to obtain tableware that is naturally light, elegant and robust. It is suitable for food contact and thus ideal for a meal tray.
  • Corn starch: made   from plants, it is used to make PLA or biodegradable plastic. _ _ It is a heat – resistant material and has the OK compost label. _
  • Bamboo: it is a material that can regenerate infinitely and quickly. _ _ _ It is as practical as it is elegant for a table decoration.
  • Cardboard: made from wood fibers and basic materials such as hemp, it constitutes a set of layers of paper. The assembly determines the quality of the cardboard, but in general, it is a material that is resistant, practical and light at the same time. In addition, it has good thermal resistance.
  • The palm tree: these are the leaf sheaths of the leaves of the material that are used to design disposable tableware. It is impermeable to oil and water. _ _ _
  • Sugar cane: sugar cane fibers are processed and used to make disposable tableware. Moreover, a stalk of sugar cane makes it possible to obtain up to 50 compostable, biodegradable and waterproof plates.

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