All Disposable Products Should Be Like This!

Written by Joel

We review a lot of great alternatives to “traditional” products, ones that are just as good (or better), sometimes costing around the same, and we often come to the conclusion – why do we still use the popular versions?

enviroware biodegradable cutlery and plates

Disposable cutlery and containers are products that are difficult to avoid. There are times when reusable cutlery is not practical or allowed (i.e airplanes) and while remembering to take your own containers to takeaway places (or even restaurants for left-overs) is an admirable goal, it’s not one that we’re all likely to achieve any time soon.

To that end, Dispoz-o have sponsored a review of their latest environmentally conscious products – enviroware biodegradable cutlery, straws, hinged containers, plates and bowls.

About Dispoz-o

Creating a biodegradable product with the same characteristics as non-biodegradable plastics seems like a great achievement to me. Beginning their “greening” in 1999, Dispoz-o began with using recycled materials, water reclamation, energy saving systems, and many other initiatives in their factories following the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. But this wasn’t enough; they partnered with MIT to create “envirofoam” dinnerware in order to reduce their environmental footprint. Then, in 2005, they began their quest to make their disposable plastic products out of biodegradable material, which would be realized in 2008.

Biodegradable Cutlery and Plates

There are several different ways to achieve this goal, each with their pros and cons, and it took over two years for them to discover their final method – Active Organic Catalyst (AOC). The AOC agents act as a stimulus for micro-organisms to produce an enzyme that breaks up the molecular chain into much smaller structures. Once this is done, the micro-organisms can then metabolize these structures into organic material. Enviroware is FDA approved and meets lots of acronym standards that you can look up on their website.

Depending on how active a landfill is the products will degrade in as little as 9 months and up to five years, compared to a typical estimated 400 years with current plastics and traditional food containers. They break down completely into carbon dioxide, water and methane and leave no toxic residue.

enviroware biodegradable cutlery and plates

Yes, it’s still plastic

The products are either polypropylene or polystyrene plastic (made from petroleum), but coupled with AOC their products are now 100% biodegradable. It is better to avoid using plastic at all but there are times when you can’t avoid it, and there are some people and companies who don’t care about avoiding plastic. I’m all about making things easier for people and taking small steps towards being green, so using green products that look the same and function the same as traditional non-green products is a great move. I’ve tried many of them out personally and you can’t notice the difference at all with enviroware.

Enviroware make 100% biodegradable single use products including plates, bowls, hinged take-out containers, school lunch trays, cutlery, cutlery kits, straws and stirrers. If you’re a business who uses the non-biodegradable versions of these products and aren’t about to, or able to change anytime soon, then take a look a Dispoz-o enviroware. Houston Independent School District have just announced their move to biodegradable products.

enviroware biodegradable cutlery and plates

Comments

4 Responses to “All Disposable Products Should Be Like This!”

  1. Grant

    I can appreciate what this company is trying to do, but wouldn’t disposable dinnerware made out of corn starch or recycled paper be a lot better than making a slightly modified plastic version?

  2. Joel

    Thanks Grant, a good point. There are pros and cons of each method, Dispozo did tell me they tested sugarcane fibers and other Plant Based Materials (PBM’s) but were eliminated due to performance issues. Moisture, either from steam or directly from moist foods, severely compromised the integrity of these products. Recycled paper requires a coating that makes it non-recyclable, but I’m not that familiar with it’s performance and biodegradability after the coating (which I think is fine) – as long as the option isn’t traditional plastic I think we’re moving in the right direction.

  3. Frank

    Some things may sound to good to be true and some companies will tell you want you want to hear if there is a profit in it.
    I would bet that the samples that were checked to see if they are biodegradable are not what is being produced in a manufacturing environment. Take and check some samples that are out in the market, not the one the dispoz-o wants you to check.

  4. peter george

    hi Grant, like joel said there are pro’s andf cons of each method but i personally dont believ in the corn starch and other pulping processes for making disposable tableware. Firstly the quality and structure of these products are not that great and can be compared to flimsy plastic and paper alternatives. Secondly the actual processes for the pulping to these disposables are very energy wasting and the fact that they come resources which could be used for food is a bit controversial. I mean farmers would probably get a better price for their crop to be used in fuel and products than actually for human consumption. The world is already in a food shortage crisis. Not only that forest are being cleared so that more of these biofuel crops can be grown!!