Choosing the right type of cutlery is important whether you are looking to make a positive impression on your guests or are trying to make a difference in the environment.
Disposable ECO-Friendly cutlery is available in several different material types.
Selecting the cutlery to best fit your business will depend on the food you are serving, environmental goals, and your budget.
Cutlery which can be composted either at homeCompost or at a commercial facility will leave a smaller footprint on the earth and is considered more environmentally friendly. More environmentally friendly compostable disposable cutlery options include: CPLA (Crystallized Polylactic Acid), Bamboo, Molded Fiber, and Wood.
1. Crystallized Polylactic Acid (CPLA)
CPLA also known as crystallized polylactic acid is sometimes referred to as PLA.
CPLA is more expensive than disposable plastic cutlery but is the cheapest environmentally friendly option.
CPLA cutlery is certified compostable and will compost within 60 – 180 days in commercial composting facilities.
CPLA has a heat tolerance of 185℉* before distortion.
It is offered in light weight, medium weight, and heavy weight, as well as various lengths and sizes.
CPLA is very rigid and will break under extreme pressure.
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource making it a great option for disposable cutlery.
Bamboo is more expensive than plastic and CPLA cutlery. Bamboo is similar in price to molded fiber.
Bamboo cutlery is certified compostable.
It is smooth and lightweight.
Bamboo has a heat tolerance of 200℉*.
If you are looking to display your sustainability efforts, bamboo cutlery can make it obvious to your customers that you consider the full product life cycle when making product decisions.
Bamboo cutlery does not use light, medium, or heavy weight as an indicator of cutlery density or size. The strength of bamboo cutlery will be determined by the size and length of the product, and will vary by manufacturer.
Bamboo cutlery does not come in a standard color. Color can vary by each piece.
3. Molded Fiber
Molded fiber is made from a blend of recycled paperboard, newsprint, sugarcane, wheat fiber, and other natural plant material.
Molded fiber is similar in price to bamboo.
Molded fiber cutlery is certified compostable and will compost within 60 – 180 days in commercial composting facilities.
Molded fiber has a heat tolerance of 250℉*.
Molded fiber is the best option for facilities that need a safe (not sharp) cutlery option such as in prisons or hospitals.
Molded fiber is the least durable cutlery option.
If left to sit in a liquid for too long, molded fiber cutlery will become soft.
Molded fiber cutlery does not use light, medium, or heavy weight as an indicator of cutlery density or strength.
The strength of molded fiber cutlery will be determined by the size and length of the product, and will vary by manufacturer.
Wooden cutlery can be made from a variety of wood types including birch, pine, willow, or poplar.
Wood is the most expensive option.
Wood cutlery is certified compostable and will compost in any composting environment.
Wooden cutlery can be manufactured without any chemicals.
Wood cutlery has a heat tolerance of 200℉*.
If you are looking to display your sustainability efforts, wood cutlery can make it obvious to your customers that you consider the full product life cycle when making product decisions.
Wooden cutlery is porous and absorbent allowing it to absorb bacteria and moisture from food and liquids.
If wood cutlery is not properly manufactured or if it has a defect, it can allow for cracking and splintering of the wood, which can potentially cause harm to your guests. Bending or twisting wood cutlery can also lead to cracking and splintering.
Wood cutlery does not use light, medium, or heavy weight as an indicator of cutlery density or strength. The strength of wood cutlery will be determined by the type of wood and its thickness.