How To Hold A Party Without Disposable Plates

Hosting a party is without a doubt a fun way to gather some of your favourite people together. Yet for many people, holding a party at your home also comes with an extra concern: waste. Specifically, the amount of waste that comes from using disposable plates and utensils. But how could you possibly hold a party without using disposable plates?

You can host a party without disposable plates by using your own dishes or a party set of reusable plates. Most variety stores have cheap, reusable plates you can invest in, instead of buying disposables. Finger foods can be eaten without a plate and are a good option to reduce waste at your party.

Let’s look at more tips and information that will set you up to plan the best party that doesn’t need disposable dinnerware!

Easy Food Options For Avoiding Disposable Plates

You don’t have to remove food from the equation to avoid using disposable plates. There are multiple other options to avoid needing plastic and paper plates! Finger foods are a great idea because they mostly can be eaten with a small napkin instead of a plate. The bonus is that most of the food served at parties are already finger foods. This means you are only changing your method of delivery and not the delicious treats!

So, what are our recommendations for party snacking?

what can I use instead of disposable plates for party food
  • Popular appetizers like mozzarella sticks and stuffed mushrooms are easy finger foods that everybody loves! They can be served on a tray and picked up by guests one at a time.
  • Small homemade sandwiches and wraps stay fresh for hours and do not require a plate to eat. A pro-tip is to go easy on the condiments to eliminate the risk of anything falling or dripping. 
  • A small cheese platter and some chips and dip are very filling and do not require a plate. There is a reason these are everyone’s go-to at a party! You can provide any combination of spread and guests can mingle around the table as they eat their fill.
  • Miniature versions of party food like pizza or quesadillas can be bought or made, eliminating the need for a plate but still providing the classics. Mini quiches are a favourite at many parties as a miniature food!
  • If you’re setting out a bowl of crackers, chips, or candy try using crockery instead of plastic! This lets you provide snacks without producing waste.
  • For dessert, options like cupcakes, brownies, or even ice cream cones will be even sweeter knowing that there is no mess to clean up afterwards!

Replace disposable plates with your crockery

What better way to reduce waste than by using the resources you already have? You can pull plates out of your own pantry and cupboards for your guests to use. This is typically avoided at parties because people are worried about the dishes breaking, but you just need to be a bit more cautious. Your guests can still pile up the same amount of food, possibly even more! Plus, they are likely to reuse one of your proper plates because they are not flimsy like disposables ones.

Paper and thin plastic plates are destroyed easily when being used and it stops guests from either eating more food or from reusing the same plate. By using your own dishes, you are creating less waste and lower your contribution to major causes of garbage problems.

You can also use cutlery that you already own to match the dishes, rather than buying more disposable things! On top of this, it is actually cheaper to use your personal crockery, which can be washed and reused. The cost of washing dishes is less than buying disposable plates for every party.

Better Alternatives To Disposable Plates

Cheap, reusable plates are available at most Op Shops and variety stores. There are also ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook groups where people are moving things on for little to no cost and offer great finds. This great find could include your new party crockery set!

Using these resources to build a collection of dishes specifically for parties can add peace of mind to you as the host. This way you don’t need to stress so much about your good crockery breaking, or not having enough for your guests.

If you’re worried about the cost of buying cheap reusable plates versus disposable ones, don’t be. It may be more upfront, but the plates you buy can be used time and time again without needing to be replaced. Eventually (depending on how often they are used) they will pay for themselves.

If it’s the ease of cleaning that you’re contemplating, try working in instalments to load dishes into the sink or dishwasher. Addressing the dishes in instalments during the party means there won’t be a huge mess left at the end. It will stop you from considering your house dirty and relieve stress at the end of the day!

Avoid Serving Party Food On Plastic Disposable Plates

Paper plates are as bad as disposable plastic plates

Of course, disposable plates are popular at parties for a reason. They are cheap, available in large numbers, and convenient. They’re supposed to make cleaning up afterwards easier and lessen the risk of any damage to your good plates that might happen during the party. However, these pros do not necessarily outweigh the cons.

Plastic dinnerware is not easily recycled, though it may seem that way. Our recycling is sorted by recycling machines. The lightweight nature and the shape of plastic dinnerware cause the machines to sort them with paper. The used dinnerware contaminates paper and cardboard products. Most plastic plates are made using processes full of pollutants. This reduces the quality of recycled paper products and impacts their ability to be reused. Ultimately, our plastic disposable plates end up in landfills or littered throughout our streets and water systems, where they take years to break down.

Disposable Paper Plates Are Bad For Parties

Some people believe that paper plates are able to be recycled and are therefore a good, easy option for parties. Unfortunately, this is just a myth and is a common recycling mistake. While they are paper products, most disposable paper plates are coated to prevent sogginess as you eat. These coatings, as well as the presence of food waste left on the plate, make them unable to be recycled in almost all cases.

Some might assume that food waste means they can be composted. But the coating makes the degrading process slow with little nutrients for the soil. This leaves even paper plates with only one destination: the landfill. However, you can find special compostable plates made from bamboo and other materials online or in speciality stores.

If you can, ditching disposable plates is an easy way to lower your carbon footprint.

Essentially, disposable plates are not as necessary for a party as one might think. Their negative impact on the environment is clear, and the fact that they can’t be recycled is even worse. The next time you have a party, reach for your own plates or a special set of reusable plates instead. You can help this along by catering the food to match the atmosphere, stocking up on delicious finger foods and easy-to-eat options that will satisfy guests without filling up your trash can. In no time at all, you’ll become a pro at hosting parties with as little waste as possible. Say goodbye to disposable plates today!

Now that you know how to reduce waste at your next party, have you considered a spring cleanout to get your house ready for the rave? Canberra Capital Skip Hire offers green waste skip bins that you can hire to get your backyard looking fresh! Did you know that you can use trees to save water in your garden? There are plenty more recycling and waste tips in our blogs!