Disposable Cutlery Buying Guide

Disposable Cutlery

To complement disposable plates and bowls it’s important to have good quality disposable cutlery to hand.  Your disposable cutlery needs to also be guaranteed strong enough to use without breaking or bending and comfortable to grip.  Disposable cutlery is the ideal solution for casual dining and fast food/takeaway establishments; it is also used on rail journeys, plane journeys and at fast food kiosks to name a few.  It gives you and your customer the ultimate convenience but it is vital that your disposable cutlery looks and feels good because there is no doubt, the type of disposable cutlery you choose will reflect the business you run.  There are many eco-friendly options and different colours available so you can be as bold as you want to be or keep it simple with neutral colours or transparent styles.  Within the pages of the Alliance website you will find plenty of disposable cutlery choice, sourced from reputable suppliers and at competitive prices.

Different Disposable Cutlery Eco-Friendly Materials

It can be confusing understanding the different eco-friendly materials available and each decomposes differently. Nowadays, people are very aware of wanting to look after the environment and protect it for the generations to come so you can also make a difference with what disposables you select.  On the website, you can choose from plenty of different materials including plastic and wood.  Some are extremely eco-friendly biodegradable to compostable, recyclable products.

Here is some valuable information on the different eco-friendly terms and what they mean as well as what materials are available in disposable cutlery:

  • Biodegradable means it a product is naturally broken down over a period of time and these types of eco-friendly materials are usually derived from plant or animals.
  • Degradable products are oil based and don’t naturally degrade like their biodegradable counterparts, they degrade through a chemical reaction which means they release gas such as carbon dioxide or water vapour into the atmosphere.
  • Recyclable means a product can be reused and made into a different product.
  • Renewable means a product comes from a tree, plant or other living organism that is able to regenerate itself. These types of products are also known as biodegradable.
  • Compostable means the material decays into something like water, carbon dioxide or a nutrient rich product. These materials decompose in the same time as paper but don’t release anything harmful back into the environment so are considered exceptionally safe and kind to use.

Choosing to go “green” is better for the environment but do bear in mind, it is more costly than plastic cutlery. However the positive benefit is that you will be helping to reduce the carbon footprint because eco-friendly cutlery helps to reduce the landfill and is a positive choice for the world’s future.  It is also a great message to send to your customers and helps to raise your reputation and profile in the community.

Polystyrene (PS) Cutlery

Polystyrene is not the most eco-friendly choice and while it does burn it gives off carbon dioxide and water vapour.  However, it is a durable, functional material which gives a good quality disposable cutlery.

Biodegradable Plastic Cutlery or Polylactic Acid Cutlery

It is possible to purchase biodegradable plastic which is a sustainable plastic material made out of vegetable fat, oil and corn-starch yet feels almost the same as plastic cutlery in weight and looks great. This type of cutlery is made from a biopolymer called PLA (Polylactic acid). However, there are disadvantages to PLA cutlery because this type of biodegradable plastic cannot be used on a high heat setting.

Wooden Disposable Cutlery

This style of cutlery can be used at a high heat and is very aesthetically appealing and comfortable to use.  However wooden cutlery is not as sturdy as bioplastic or biodegradable plastic cutlery but is still felt to be a great solution for light takeaway food.

Plastic Cutlery

Not as eco-friendly as other materials, plastic is recyclable and very popular.

Plastic cutlery is available in a variety of colours and weights choose from black, white, transparent and neutral colours.

The Different Weights

There are heavy duty and light duty disposable cutlery products, the heavy weight plastic cutlery is sturdy, strong and won’t break without force. These are suitable for heavy food and look high quality.  Additionally there are medium weight disposable cutlery products which are also strong and durable and are less expensive than the heavier weight plastic cutlery.  These are good for everyday foods and for casual dining.  Finally, green, biodegradable plastic cutlery is a good alternative to plastic cutlery but gives you the environmentally friendly advantage.  This type of cutlery is strong and sturdy as well so suitable for most foods.

Cutlery Packs

These disposable packs are perfect for buffet service, train service and airline service.  Packed with a serviette and sometimes with condiments they provide your customer with all the equipment needed to enjoy their meal.   Choose from 2 in one, 5 in one and 6 in one packs.  Packs generally include knife, fork, teaspoon, salt, pepper and napkin.

Other Disposable Cutlery

Disposable cutlery does not limit itself to knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons it also stretches to serving forks, sporks, stirrers, tongs and ladles.  Additionally, there are even sandwich spreaders which are excellent for using with buffets and large catering situations.  For Asian style restaurants and banquets choose chopsticks in various materials, from loose chopsticks to wooden wrapped chopsticks, excellent for hygiene purposes.

Disposable low cost and convenient, simply throw the cutlery away and forget about it rather than spending time gathering up used utensils and cleaning everything up. 

For further information on Disposable Cutlery visit the Catering Disposables pages or contact the Alliance customer care team

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