Role of compostable tableware in food service and waste management

It is estimated that in Europe 88–100 million tons of food waste are generated every year, with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of around 227 MT of CO2 equivalents generated for their collection and disposal. A 12% of this waste is estimated to arise from food service within the hospitality sector, which includes quick service restaurants, casual and fine dining, contract catering (canteens, prisons, hospitals, schools etc.) as well as indoor and outdoor events and exhibitions.

A study compares the environmental performance of using biodegradable & compostable single use tableware with organic recycling of food waste through composting against a traditional scenario using fossil-based plastic tableware and disposal of the waste flows through incineration and landfill. The study has taken into account the main requirements of the recently published Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology of the European Commission. The results confirm that the use of biodegradable and compostable tableware combined with organic recycling is the preferred option for catering in quick service restaurants, contract catering and events, since it reduces significantly the carbon, water and resource footprint and is fully in line with the principles of a circular economy.

The financial impact is also significant with the cost of the production and disposal of the EU’s food waste estimated to be € 134 billion. Given the huge social, economic and environmental costs associated with food waste, in recent years a number of national and industry led policies and programmes have been developed which seek to reduce, redistribute or recycle more food waste, with the topic gaining increasing interest within the European Commission and their ambition to drive towards a circular economy.

The organic recycling of biowaste, which includes both food and garden wastes, is well established in Europe with over 30 MT being composted or anaerobically digested in 2013. Composting predominates over anaerobic digestion for the biowaste stream, resulting in over 90% of food and green waste being processed into compost. Like all recycling processes, in order to manufacture high quality composted products, the feedstocks must be of a sufficient quality i.e. free from or containing minimal contaminants. The inclusion of non-biodegradable plastic or packaging items with organic waste is generally not acceptable for organic recycling facilities. The maximum acceptability of such levels range from about 2% (Organics Recycling Group Manager – Scotland) up to 5% (CIC, Italian Composting Consortium).

Since 2000, producers and suppliers of biodegradable and compostable packaging products have been able to demonstrate to the whole value chain that their products are suitable for organic recycling through compliance to the harmonised European Standard EN134326. The value of using biodegradable and compostable packaging products is mostly realised during the end of life – organic recycling – phase and therefore the main focus for designers and manufacturers has been on applications where the contents of the packaging is biodegradable or the packaging/item will be “contaminated” with food.

Traditionally, such products are made with standard, non-biodegradable polymers from non-renewable, fossil resources. Due to the presence of food and the low inherent material value of these items, the mechanical recycling system (separate collection, sorting, cleaning, recycling) is not practical or economic. The most common applications where biodegradability and compostability are valuable characteristics are bags for separate collection of biowaste, fresh produce bags, food packaging and tableware items such as single use cutlery, drinks cups and lids, straws and any other application with plastic and food contact”.

Another UK study, which looked at food waste generation in schools found that approximately 36% of food waste was produced from plates.

Given the considerable amount of food waste produced during hospitality and events, the choice of tableware and cutlery can make a big difference in facilitating waste collection as well as in reducing the overall environmental impact of food waste management.

The study concluded that from an environmental point of view, the best choice was the use of biodegradable and compostable plastic cutlery and the generation of waste containing only compostable fractions. Conversely, if plastics are not biodegradable, mechanical recycling is not applied and organic recycling (composting) is not applicable, and only waste treatments without material recovery (landfill and incineration) can be adopted.

Areca palm leaf eco-friendly disposable tableware



Palm leaf tableware is made of fallen palm leaves of the areca trees that have naturally been shed and would otherwise be wasted or burned, so they don’t contribute to deforestation or harm local ecosystems or species.

They are the best disposable plates since they break down in a fraction of the time and are completely biodegraded within 6-8 weeks without toxic compounds.

The production is using very little natural resources (water, gas, oil, electricity, soil…). And you can see they are all stylish and so nice much more than other materials.

Being a part of the world, we would like to work as a sustainable business that helps create the sustainability for development of our planet.

Our areca palm leaf disposable tableware is one of our prides as it perfectly matches the high standards in terms of environmental protection:





Products are being exported to the USA, Australia.

Factory is located in Binh Dinh, Vietnam.

Contact us for more details and wholesale price: