Disposable Plastic Dinnerware: Expectations vs. Reality

Disposable plastic dinnerware has brought a lot of convenience to our daily life. Especially at parties and gatherings, disposable plastic tableware is quite popular. These are also known as single-ware plastic utensils, which have a one-time usage only.
Indeed, we do not need to wash them again and again for re-use; they are also affordable. There are many negative aspects which have ties with this disposable plastic dinnerware. Which is not highlighted to everyone.

This article will describe the true picture of what people are prospecting. And the disposable dinnerware realities.

Disposable Plastic Dinnerware: Expectations vs. Reality

In general, we expect convenience in our daily lives. In congregational events, offices, home gatherings, and small parties. we expect simplicity in delivering the food items to the guests. So we use disposable plastic dishes, cups, and glasses. Yet we forget or have no idea of the harmfulness they are spreading. As disposable tableware are damaging to our health and surroundings.

In the manufacture Polystyrene which is a kind of polymer material. Industries use Oil refining polystyrene in the manufacture of disposable plastic dinnerware. These polymers have a high melting point, and low toxicity and are simple in production. But, this disposable plastic tableware is not degradable. And it takes almost 200 years to degrade in ordinary circumstances.

Expected Benefits

Before highlighting the negative aspects of the disposal of plastic tableware. We are underlining their few benefits.
They provide good short-term health. As we do not need to worry about the cleanliness of dishes when eating outside. Sometimes, the used dishes carry bacteria of infection and disease. But in the case of disposal tableware, we meet ourselves that with every use we are getting a new one. And we throw the old one out.
The convenience of carrying food items is also a major perspective. And many people are considering. For instance, if you are eating in a restaurant, you may bring the rest of the food home by a takeaway. You can take this food in a disposable lunch box made with polymer back home.

Reality of Disadvantages

In reality, disposable tableware has a lot of problems.

Waste of Sources

First, disposable plastic dinnerware is a great waste of sources. the disposable chopsticks, cups, glasses, and lunch boxes have a one time usage and then thrown out. This excessive wastage is equal to a lot of wood waste.

Difficult in use

Disposable plastic dinnerware is not proper in size. Sometimes, they are very large and sometimes quite small. It also becomes difficult to eat with plastic utensils. compared with regular spoons and forks.

, the plastic knives are unable to cut as the metallic knives. Besides, paper plates are too thin and cannot hold too hot and greasy food. If such plates leak, they result in a mess and damage the clothing. Which is a lot of embracement, especially at the parties.

Eating with disposable forks can get torn off and remain inside our mouths, which is the worst thing. During the eating of cake, the tinges of the cake are difficult to distinguish. And thus a child or an adult can swallow them, which is quite toxic.

Environmental Pollution

Another major drawback is the environmental pollution that disposable tableware are carrying. We usually see these items thrown away in parks, the roads, and even on public transport.

This extra rubbish and garbage have made our lives indecent. Moreover, the plastic disposable dinnerware is not destroyed or degradable in normal circumstances. This behavior handles causing irrecoverable damage to our earth and the atmosphere.

If we burn the plastic to get rid of it, this is also not workable as it will produce various kinds of poisonous smoke. That contribute to air pollution. When inhaling this toxic smoke will result in many respiratory problems.

These boxes, cups, glasses, and plates are also insoluble in water. So if thrown in the sea or river. It leads to water pollution and is dangerous to marine health. The constituents of the disposal plastic are often poisonous. If we bury them in soil, it will also produce underground toxic effects.

Endangers Wildlife

Plastic tableware have a high usage. When going on an outdoor trip. People prefer Packaged food to save costs and make it easy to travel. Sometimes, the families on outdoor adventures choose fast food. Often served with plastic plates, cups, forks, and spoons.

At the end of the trip, most people throw this plastic stuff open in the parks, which are also home to wildlife. Thus, these plastic items pave a great threat to wildlife. Sometimes, wild animals feed on these plastic items. Which results in their choking and death. Moreover, these plastics may clog their stomachs if they escape from death.

Danger to Marine Life

When we throw plastic dinnerware into the seas, it becomes a threat to marine life. And they often suffocate to death by swallowing these items. When the enough of these plastic tableware covers the surface of the water. It also creates a blockage for the fresh air from entering beneath the water surface. This hurdle in the air path may cause a lack of oxygen for the aquatic species. These materials are also entangled with fish. And result in their suffocation to death.

The fish that survive after eating plastic dinnerware can damage their meat. When the anglers and hunters catch these fishes, they become a health hazard for humans. Because of bio-accumulation, the microscopic broken particles consumed by fish become concentrated. As they ascend up the food chain, with man at the top.


Upon concluding the above discussion. It is now evident that the downside of plastic dinnerware are more than the positive aspects. Disposable plastic dinnerware gives us ease of life, as many think. This expectation is true because these utensils provide convenience and enough portability. So that we can use this plastic tableware  even in remote areas and in outdoor activities.

But, besides the simplicity and ease of use. Plastic Dinnerware is carrying some serious concerns. These harmful aspects are realities that you cannot deny. They are a risk to our health, environment, and animal life.

Our ecosystem works in a balanced way. Some items need to degrade after a certain period to keep the equilibrium of nature. These items do not degrade on natural grounds; thus, it is very difficult to get rid of them.

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