If the meal calls for disposable plates, they may as well be biological nutrients that can be readily returned to the soil. Elegance doesn't hurt, either. These disposable plates, bowls, and serving dishes from VerTerra are made from fallen leaves, pressed into shape with nothing but heat and water. You can see from our post last year that VerTerra's designs have evolved aesthetically, while retaining the same remarkably simple production process.
VerTerra's plates come in various sizes ranging from four to ten inches. When purchased in bulk, an eight-inch plate costs between $.65 and $.90, depending on quantity. The gathered leaves are pressure washed, sanitized with UV light, and then pressed into shape. Because they are untreated ("no additives, plastics, waxes or glues") they can go straight into the compost. If taken camping, you could probably just crumble them up and let the ants clean off the morsels. According to the company, when tossed into the compost, VerTerra wares will completely break down in two months, making darn-fine soil. They are also "microwave-safe up to 2 minutes on high and oven-safe for up to 45 minutes at 350 degrees."
I've grown wary of calling products cradle-to-cradle, but wouldn't you agree that these fit the definition of a biological nutrient? Now you can really tell your guests to "leave the dishes."
Also check out: Buy Green: Dinnerware Sets (Planet Green)