Alternatives to disposable plastic tableware and cutlery

photo Alternatives to disposable plastic tableware and cutlery


Disposable plastic tableware generates a large amount of waste. To reduce waste volume, use of plastic tableware should be limited, or even eliminated. Only disposable tableware made of recycled materials should be allowed.


Disposable tableware and cutlery have strong environmental impacts, both in the manufacturing phase and at the time of final disposal.


For welcome events and receptions:

  • Prefer reusable tableware

For packed meal boxes:

  • The ideal solution is to give customers picnic tableware kits in easily transported containers that they can bring back to the establishment after an excursion.
  • A second option, less preferable, is to provide biodegradable or compostable tableware in picnic boxes that are not returned to the establishment.

At swimming pool areas:

  • Prefer reusable cups for beverages


It may be necessary to purchase more reusable tableware, and perhaps another dishwasher to handle additional volume.

Generally speaking the reduction or elimination of disposable tableware generates more savings than costs.


  • Environmental concerns: the resources used to manufacture disposable tableware will be preserved if these items are eliminated.
  • Economic gains: Disposable tableware carries a cost. Further more, the less discarded, the less paid for waste management. It is increasingly common for local authorities and private waste management companies to base their rates on the amount of waste to be treated, i.e. the amount of waste produced by enterprises.
  • Marketing advantage: customers will always prefer the superior comfort of real dishes and cutlery to disposable items.
  • Regulatory head-start: sale and distribution of disposable tableware made of plastic will be banned in France as of 2020.


  • New procedures and forms of organisation to be set up
  • New practices to be adopted by staff
  • If it is not possible to completely eliminate disposable tableware, a recycling system must be set up.