Compostable Single-Use Plates

Is My Disposable Plate Compostable?

November 30, 2020

Composting has become a hot topic over the last couple of years, perhaps due to the fact that people are progressively more aware of the incredible waste management problems our world is facing.



Of course, with trash slowly seeping toxins into our soil and water, it makes sense that we’d want a solution like composting, which allows organic materials to break down naturally in order to be repurposed as fertilizer to help Mother Nature out. 


Those who are new to composting might find it difficult to navigate the vast number of materials that can and cannot be composted.


While you may be making smart choices about the types of disposable dinnerware you use, you could still be halting your ecological efforts by recycling or disposing of your plastic and paper plates incorrectly.


Luckily, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about composting different types of materials, so take look to find out if your particular disposable plates are indeed compostable.


Paper Plates, Cups, and Utensils 

Many paper plates, cups, and utensils will be compostable after use, with a caveat.

Paper Plate


However, if your paper dinnerware includes some type of poly coating or special chemicals to help keep moisture out, then these will not be compostable, or even recyclable in most cases.


Any disposable paper dinnerware that is printed with ink will also not be compostable. You can check the packaging of your disposable paper plates or cups to see if the manufacturer says anything about them being biodegradable or compostable.


If so, they are likely fine to toss in your home composting system.


Plastic Plates, Cups, and Utensils

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “all plastics that are compostable are considered biodegradable, but not every plastic that is biodegradable is compostable.”


Most disposable plastic dinnerware you come across will not be compostable and instead, must be recycled.


There are a few plant-based plastic materials that can be composted, and these will most likely be labeled as such.


You can usually find a special symbol denoting what kind of plastic your disposable plate or utensil was made from, which will help you identify the eco-friendliest way of disposing of it.


Many plastics can be recycled in your blue bin at home, while others may need to be dropped off at a specialized facility.


Bamboo Plates and Utensils 

Generally speaking, bamboo plates and utensils will be compostable depending on the other ingredients used to make them.

Bamboo Plates

Bamboo Plates by AllyCafe


Most bamboo dinnerware items are even compostable in your home systems, although they may take slightly longer to break down – around 4 to 6 months to be exact.


A good tip to keep in mind is cutting bamboo plates or utensils into smaller pieces, as this will help accelerate the composting process. 


VerTerra’s Palm Leaf Dinnerware

Made of 100 percent renewable resources, our award-winning VerTerra Dinnerware from Fallen Leaves™ is fully biodegradable and BPI-certified compostable.


VerTerra Compostable Serving Dish


This line of single-use plates is a stylish alternative to plastic or paper dinnerware, and is manufactured without chemicals, waxes, dyes, or additives.


It will take around 90 days for palm leaf dinnerware to break down naturally in a home composting system.


Shop compostable single-use dinnerware today.  


Sugarcane Plates, Cups, and Bowls

Another popular kind of disposable dinnerware is made from sugarcane, which is a renewable resource.


Once the sugar juice has been extracted from the plant, the fibers left over are what makes up these plates.


These kind of single-use plates, cups, and bowls will be compostable, as long as there are no coatings or dyes used in the manufacturing process. Simply dispose of them in your garden or a composting bin. These plates are often brown in color and will be stronger than a typical paper plate but not quite as strong as plastic plates.



Now that you know how to handle various disposable materials when it comes to composting, you can host beautiful, eco-friendly events and feel good about the waste you create.


VerTerra offers tons of biodegradable and compostable dinnerware and serveware for both the casual party host and the dedicated caterer.


Check out our selection of disposable dinnerware now to find what you need for your next event!

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