Disposable Eating Utensils Key Terms
Understand terms related to earth-friendly disposable utensilsThere are many reasons food service businesses are turning to environmentally-friendly disposable utensils. Some customers prefer eco-friendly utensils. Some business owners simply feel it's the right thing to do. And while "green" disposable utensils are frequently more costly to purchase, they can cut your water usage and may even cut your garbage costs, since you can simply compost them at your facilities. However, the world of eco-friendly disposable utensils is still young, and new terms abound. It's important for you to know what you're buying, because unless you understand some key terms, you may end up wasting time and money.
PSM, plastarchPSM, or plastarch, is a material used to make some environmentally-friendly disposable cutlery.
BiodegradableBiodegradable utensils are those that break down into the soil by natural means. Nearly any product does this if you give it long enough, but biodegradable products usually promise to do this within a relatively short amount of time, often within a year.
CompostableCompostable utensils are those that quickly break down into the soil. If you throw them in the trash, bury them in landscaping or place them in a composter, they'll disappear from the landfill within a year.
BambooBamboo utensils and plates are another product touted as green. They are sturdy and break down within six months.
PLA, polylactidePLA, otherwise known as polylactic acid or polylactide, is a fully biodegradable plastic made from corn, wheat, sugar beets and other starch-rich foods. It requires commercial composting to break down quickly.
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