Foodservice managers may not have seen the wide assortment of environmentally friendly products that are now being made by manufacturers. Compostable plate materials are more varied than people think due to the ingenuity of chemists who want to protect the earth’s environment from dangerous pollutants. Old-fashioned disposable products were not made in an eco-friendly way from nontoxic materials. Tons of toxic plastics made of petroleum products were carried to landfills, creating waste that damaged the soil and groundwater. Today, consumers want to protect the earth by only using Green products everywhere they go, including restaurants.
In order to keep customers happy, the managers of restaurants and commercial kitchens should begin to use a variety of compostable containers, including boxes, cups, and bowls. Environmental scientists have worked hard to find new ways to make environmentally safe utensils and trays from unusual materials. However, most customers in a restaurant would have no idea what their cups and plates are made of because manufacturers do such a great job of making the items look attractive. Serving meals on great looking dishes is vitally important to ensure customers will continue to visit a commercial kitchen or restaurant.
Palm Tree Leaves
One of the most unusual compostable plate materials is natural palm leaves from the Arecaceae trees that grow in tropical locations. Local people collect the leaves that fall from the palm trees to grind the items into pulp that is made into thin but sturdy fiberboard. The pulp is ground using simple handheld tools that do not pollute the air, water, or soil. To avoid toxic chemicals from entering the environment, the workers do not coat the material with wax or plastic. Environmentalists love these eco-friendly products because the workers are earning money to assist with the local economy while they are getting a Green product that decomposes easily after its use.
Bulrush and Bamboo
The bulrush plant is another interesting fiber that is suitable for making compostable products. This grass grows wild in wetlands where it is not exposed to chemicals such as pesticides. The fibers in this plant are tough enough to make strong disposable plates, utensils, and cups that are available in bulk packaging designed for commercial kitchens and restaurants. Another grass product used by compostable product companies is bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly, making it an easy renewable source of material that does not harm the environment. Despite being a grass, bamboo is extremely strong, helping to create sturdy disposable foodservice products.
Wheat and Corn
While many individuals visit fast-food restaurants to order potato chips or fries, it is also possible to be served the foods on eco-friendly dishes made of potato starch. The starches from other vegetables, including corn and wheat, are also a source of material to make environmentally safe disposable dishware. While in the past cornstalks and wheat straw were wasted after growing these grains, now the manufacturers of eco-friendly products use the fibers to make compostable plate materials.