Green Solutions for Food Service: Biodegradable Disposable Plates, Bowls and Lunch Trays

Breaking News, Your Home — By on July 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

By Sarah Kritscher
Reprinted courtesy of

These days, people everywhere are becoming eco-friendly, especially when it comes to take-out containers and eating out. Styrofoam clamshells became very popular in the 1950′s, but are now being outlawed by cities across the country. We are finally waking up to the fact that maybe Styrofoam isn’t as great as we once thought and we need to make a mindful choice to change.

Everyone is becoming more green these days, especially in terms of eating out and the take home food containers filling their doggie bags. Now that Styrofoam clamshells, which were the marvel of the 1950′s plastics boom being outlawed by cities across the country, we’re finally realizing that maybe the once-marvel isn’t as great as we thought it to be- and that maybe it is time to make a real change.

Many more eco-friendly options are now becoming more available every day in the food service industry which is great for business – and great for the planet. One of the principal materials being used today in place of Styrofoam for disposable tableware is bagasse( a byproduct of the sugarcane refining process). In layman’s terms, bagasse is what is left over after the sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract the juices. Since bagasse comes from the earth it is easily converted by nature into simple, stable compounds that are absorbed back into the ecosystem.

There are many attractive qualities of bagasse, one of many being that it is both biodegradable and compostable. This means that you don’t have to worry that your great-great grandchildren will be dealing with your take home food container from Saturday night’s dinner!

Biodegradable means that the product will break down into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass in a short amount of time. When something is “compostable”, it means that it is made of organic matter that will break down in a compost system or land fill.

Bagasse biodegradable food containers are quickly being recognized as a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional Styrofoam clamshells and plastic plates. Bagasse biodegradable food containers can be lined with a corn-starch based film called PLA (polylactic acid). PLA lining is a clear, thin sheet that acts as a complete moisture and grease barrier, protecting the container and allowing it to stand up against any and all types of food.

Here are some green facts regarding disposable tableware: – While recycling of Styrofoam is possible, it is extremely expensive and many recycling plants do not accept it. Styrofoam cannot be recycled to make new Styrofoam products. It can only be used to make other products such as packing filler. – Styrofoam does not break down easily and some studies indicate that it may release chemicals when it gets wet, contaminating our precious water sources. It takes up much more space than paper in our landfills. – Less water and energy is required to produce Bagasse than Styrofoam, paper, and recycled paper. – Trees can take up to 30 years to mature, while sugarcane only takes one year making it a very renewable resource. – Less CO2 is emitted by creating Bagasse over Styrofoam and paper. – Americans use and discard over 2.5 billion Styrofoam cups each year. Thinking green and moving towards the use of more sustainable resources is imperative. Going green when you eat out or order take home food is now easier than ever.

For your barbeques and gatherings it is now possible to buy eco-friendly, compostable, and organic disposable tableware including cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery made from the renewable resource bagasse.

There has never been a better time to go green ‘ particularly when you eat! It’s your earth – it’s worth it!

PrimeWare products are “Sustainable” and “Environmentally Friendly”. PrimeWare’s broad line of biodegradable plates, platters, bowls, trays, and containers are manufactured from 100% bagasse (a by-product of surgarcane). To learn more please visit our website:



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