7 Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates Made of Clever Materials Like Cornstarch and Sugarcane

Sometimes you simply can't use reusable dishes. These plant-based, compostable, eco-friendly disposable plates offer the convenience of single-use without the environmental impact.


Apr. 18 2024, Published 1:08 p.m. ET

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A beloved set of dishes — bought new, thrifted, or passed down through generations — is probably a natural part of your meal routine. But there will be the rare (or frequent) occasion when you'll be hosting a party, holding a cookout, or having a picnic, and toting your breakable dinnerware just won't be an option. That's where eco-friendly disposable plates come into play, and we're not just talking about recycled plastic.

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You've probably eaten from bamboo plates before, and those are a great option, as they're made from a renewable resource and can be returned to the compost bin. But even more compostable — and undeniably clever — plant-based materials are finding their way into eco-friendly disposable plates, giving you the convenience of single-use, disposable dinnerware without the environmental impact. Curious? Read on.

But first, make sure you actually have a compost bin in which to dispose of your disposables. This compost bin from The Home Depot requires zero assembly and is has more than enough space to toss the eco-friendly disposable plates below once your party wraps up.

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Repurpose 6" Eco-Dessert Plates, 20 Count

These Repurpose compostable dessert plates are heavy-duty, so bring on the six-tier birthday cake slices! It's made of three brilliant eco-friendly materials: upcycled sugarcane pulp, wood scrap, and eucalyptus. "There is no possible way these could collapse carrying deserts or snacks on them," one shopper announced.

$9 at Amazon

Better Than Bamboo Square Palm Leaf Plates (25 Count) + Cutlery (50 Count)

The cookout is not complete without a deal this good: 25 square 10-inch dinner plates, 25 forks, and 25 knives — all disposable, all compostable, and all made of renewable palm leaf — for just 15 bucks. Better Than Bamboo indeed! One fan wrote "I have recently entered my hosting era and I was searching for some utensils and plates that would make the post-hosting cleaning process easier and faster and I am glad I found this product. It is a step-up from plastic plates, they are aesthetically pleasing, and great size."

$15 at Amazon
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Luvcosy Disposable Divided Serving Trays & Platters (40 Count)

Give veggies and dip a green makeover with these compartmentalized serving bowls made of cornstarch — yes, like the powder sitting in your pantry. Its lightweight, waterproof, and oil-proof, so salad dressing doesn't stand a chance. "These disposable trays are perfect for bringing a snack or veggie tray to an event. You don't have to worry about your dish, just leave it there! They are hearty and will hold up for the duration of the party!" one shopper wrote.

$23 at Amazon

Responsible Products 10" Tree-Less™ Compostable Plates (50 Count)

Bamboo and sugarcane are the two renewable resources that make these disposable plates eco-friendly, and at 40 cents a plate, these are an affordable alternative to keep in the pantry for those nights when washing dishes is a chore you just can't handle. "I was skeptical but it held up well even with juicy meals," one shopper wrote.

$20 at Walmart
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Smarty Had a Party 9" Fish Natural Palm Leaf Eco-Friendly Disposable Trays (25 Count)

Being eco-friendly can absolutely be cute, and these Smart Had a Party palm leaf disposable trays prove it. Put your finger foods in these fish-shaped trays and prepare for all your guests to ask where you got them.

$40 Oriental Trading

Earth's Natural Alternative 9" Unbleached Bamboo Compostable Disposable Paper Plates

If you're throwing a big party (or lots of little parties), stock up with this pack of 500 biodegradable, compostable paper plates. These aren't your run of the mill paper plates, though: they're oil-resistant, BPA-free, and unbleached, too.

$62 at Home Depot

If this news has you feeling inspired to reduce your environmental impact, check out our stories about living a zero-waste lifestyle, going plant-based, and living more sustainably overall.

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