How to Responsibly Dispose of Paper Plates

A plate, cardboard, and pottery on a kitchen table.

When it comes to disposing of paper plates, there are a few options that can help avoid the landfill responsibly:

  1. Recycle: If the paper plates are clean and free of food residue, they can typically be recycled. Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept paper plates in their recycling stream.
  2. Compost: If your paper plates are made from 100% biodegradable materials, they can be composted. If you have a composting system at home, simply place the paper plates in the compost bin. If not, look for composting facilities in your area that accept paper plates.
  3. Reuse: If the paper plates are still in good condition, consider reusing them for future events or gatherings. Simply wash them and store them for future use. This helps reduce waste and prolongs the lifecycle of the paper plates.
  4. Donate: If the paper plates are unused and in their original packaging, consider donating them to local community centers, shelters, or organizations that may have a need for them. This helps prevent waste and provides a useful resource to those in need.

Remember to avoid disposing of paper plates in the regular trash as they can take a long time to decompose in a landfill. Additionally, if the paper plates have any plastic or wax coating, they may not be recyclable or compostable, so it's best to check with your local recycling or composting facilities.