Dealing with dirty dishes is a daily fact of life for most of us, thanks to the fact that we’re feeding our families all day long. But some occasions call for more dinnerware than many of us have on hand, or include guests who might prefer non-breakable plates — not to mention the fact that there are days when tired parents simply need a break from that nightly suds-up at the sink or the loading of the dishwasher. For those occasions, there’s a simple solution: Use paper plates.
Long a staple of kiddie birthday parties and backyard BBQs, there’s a paper plate that’s perfect for every occasion, thanks to the fact that they’re available in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. And while they’re not exactly (er, at all) zero waste, many of today’s top brands offer eco-friendly options that are made from sustainable, non-paper materials that can be composted, so you can feel a little less guilty about using them, whatever the event. When shopping for the best paper plates, look for ones that are heavy-duty enough to handle hearty, saucy foods and that can withstand cutlery, as well as whether or not they’re safe for use in the microwave.
We’ve rounded up the best options for any occasion, or none at all. So whether you’re hosting playdates, parties, or just need a night off from dishes — raises hand — paper plates are the way to go.
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1. Earth’s Natural Eco-Friendly, Compostable Paper Plate
These Earth’s Natural Alternative heavy-duty plates are made from 100% sustainable and renewable natural wheat stalk fiber and bagasse (that’s sugarcane fiber) — making them a tree-free alternative to traditional paper plates and a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic or styrofoam. The plates can be used in the microwave and are oil-, liquid- and cut-resistant. Each case contains 50 or 125 compostable 9-inch plates.
2. Glad Square Disposable Paper Plates
Why buy plain white paper plates when you could have Glad’s beautiful Victorian printed plates instead? These heavy duty plates aren’t just pretty, they are also soak-proof, cut-proof and microwavable. Plus, they’re made with biodegradable paper and are compostable. The square design measures 8.5 or 10 inches and each package includes 50 plates. The edge design is available in both purple and green.
3. Dixie Everyday Paper Plates
Dixie Everyday Paper Plates are heavy duty — with five layers, they’re twice as strong as comparable store-brand paper plates — and have a soak-proof shield that can handle anything from salad dressing to burger grease. Plus, they’re cut-resistant and microwavable to make reheating leftovers a breeze. Each case includes a 200 count of 10 1/16-inch plates.
4. Stack Man Compostable Paper Plates
These disposable plates from Stack Man offer a compostable design that will degrade quickly, which means convenient cleanup for you and the planet. Made from 100% sugarcane fiber, a sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable material, they’re strong, free from any plastic or wax lining, and are microwavable and freezable. The 125-count package contains either 7-inch or 9-inch plates.