Tableware is typically made out of porcelain, china, glass, plastic, or sometimes paper and wood. When you buy plates, bowls, cups, and more made of recycled materials, you reduce the use of limited natural resources (like petroleum and trees), send a few less items to a landfill, and potentially lower the total energy required to manufacture your tableware.
In 2011, 280 million tonnes of plastic were produced globally while the recycling rate of those plastics has not kept up. Take the United States for example, the US EPA says only 7 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2009 was recovered for recycling despite the fact that 80 percent of the population has access to plastics recycling. Unfortunately, all of that unrecovered plastic winds up in landfills where it takes hundreds of years to breakdown. Or it makes its way into waterways, releasing its sometimes harmful chemical components as it slowly degrades.
According to Earth 911, glass containers are 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled endlessly. For every ton of glass that is recycled, one ton of raw materials used to process new glass is saved. Meanwhile, only 63 percent of all paper is currently recycled. Purchasing recycled tableware can help fix these numbers.
When in the market for anything to go on your table – whether you’re registering for your wedding or just looking for a salad bowl, seek out items made from recycled materials.
Read product packaging carefully to see what percentage of the item is actually from recycled materials. The higher the percentage, the greener the product.
Recycled/vintage tablecloths, cloth napkins, and silverware are just the thing to match your recycled tableware.
Preserve Everyday Tableware works well for everything from casual family meals to picnics. The plates, bowls, and cups have been specifically designed for ease of use; they're shaped and weighted for stability and resistance to spills. Preserve says they're made from recycled #5 plastic, and are both BPA- and phthalate-free. You can also buy the cups and plates separately, not just as a pack. Sign up for the Preserve Newsletter and become a fan of Preserve on Facebook.