Re-using paper plates and utensils

toomuchglassSeptember 28, 2007

I used to laugh at my FIL for wanting to save the plastic knives and forks from a gathering ....We'd tease him that he was so cheap ! LOL *** NOW -- I find myself doing the same thing ! *** (I guess the shoe's on the other foot now )

I invested in Dixie plates - they're coated . It kills me to throw them away when they had nothing sloppy on them and are still useable. I wipe 'em off ! As for the utensils - those really sturdy knives and forks can last a L-O-N-G time ! ( The flimsy ones get tossed )

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My wife washes and reuses the plastic cups we buy- but I don't get it. If you're going to wash and reuse them, why not use 'real' dishes and silver wear? I'll admit, if I don't make much of a mess on a paper plate- I'll keep it around for another meal, but once you've gotten soap and water involved- what have you saved?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:42PM
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Good question ! I Never thought of that . LOL
You have a great point !

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:54PM
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I save the money and don't buy plastic.

My guests deserve to eat off the same plates we do... not plastic or paper.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:02PM
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I Didn't say for "guests" .

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:15PM
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My DH is still complaining about his mother using paper plates at Christmas dinner.

That was pretty bad.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:27PM
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No, I've never reused plastic tableware, or paper plates. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of them. I agree with the previous poster...why not just use the real deal if your going to go to all the bother of washing them?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:03AM
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Yes to silverware, no to plates. The plastic silverware goes in the dishwasher with the rest of the silverware. Of course anything that is really messy usually goes on our plastic plates (real plastic ones, not disposable picnic ones). I'm a little paranoid about food stuffs, especially the no-see-ums that can make you sick.

You could always get the real paper plates for those not messy things, and then maybe you won't feel as bad about throwing them out. At less than a penny a plate, they're much cheaper than the plastic coated things. Also thinner, but they leak if you have anything messy on them. For taking a sandwich outside, they're great.

And..... If I send my children outside with real silverware, I never see it again. It somehow becomes one with the earth. I may find the odd fork, usually with the lawnmower. The lawnmower cares if the utensil is plastic or metal. So plastic for outside use, the real stuff stays inside. =0)


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:29AM
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We keep disposable silverware in our camper because we want something that we can use, but not worry about destroying if we use it for a purose not intended. My dh eats off paper plates at home because that's just how he is. Otherwise, I buy the summer dishes you find in stores. They are sturdy enough to wash in the dishwasher and can be used outside without destrying them. I use regular breakable dishes if we are eating around the table inside.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 12:46PM
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I don't much see the point in disposable plates, after all you're never going to stop needing plates, so why throw them out.

I use ceramic ones at home, but have a set of reusable plastic ones for picnics and taking food to friends houses and things. Regular metal cutlery is practically unbreakable, so just as good indoors or out. Some hot water and detergent to clean them must be cheaper and better for the environment too.

I don't worry about breakages or loosing pieces. We don't have any treasured dinnerware or cutlery, it's all unmatched and second hand. The nice thing is, when nothing matches it doesn't matter if you break a piece. You can always find another that doesn't match.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 4:16PM
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Sorry... you are right; you did NOT say guests!

Guess I just assumed that as I would not consider regularly using paper plates (and re-washing them for multiple use) for my family....

Still don't see the point, though...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 6:19PM
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I bought a plastic picnic set. Primary colors, plastic plates and knives forks spoons. We used it for outdoor meals and parties. I diligently collected the stuff before it got thrown out. And everyone laughed when I loaded it in the dishwasher. Sadly, a few pieces got melted or destroyed by the dishwasher. So the set is now gone. But if I ever see another like it, I'm buying.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:52AM
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That's ok Western - I mentioned my FIL doing it for gatherings. I'm beginning to see the point though - I'm washing stuff anyway .........
(never too old to learn ! )

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 4:38PM
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I hope that you laughed with 'em.

When someone catches me out on one of my foibles, I laugh along.

Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously, it seems to me.

Hope you don't hit your finger when straightening nails for re-use - that's not quite so much a laughing matter.

Recently my son asked about a black spot under my fingernail - I'd been repairing my rather battered mailbox last month. Some rural neighbour lads like to clobber 'em, late at night: big fun, I guess. Snowplough does, sometimes, as well.

Question: How can a son who's achieved the advanced age of 45 have been able to have avoided hitting a finger when repairing something, resulting in a blood blister under the nail, for all of those years (well, the 37 years since he was 8)?

Hope you all have a really fine week.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:02PM
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I went to a restraurant supply place and for $50, bought 3 dozen almost unbreakable white plates and not too shabby flatware. I use them for outside eating and for large buffets. They go thru the dishwasher, hold a lot of food, don't leak and just recently, I realized I had to replace 6 plates and about 9 forks..3 years later they were right there and it cost a grand total of $6.78. Much better deal than paper and plastic!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 1:05PM
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I use paper/plastic plates to throw them away after. Why not just use plates if you are going to wash them anyway.

We always use the metal tableware with paper plates, I hate that plastic fork and knife.

I do reuse the plastic spoons. My grandson takes fruit cups, etc for lunch and I rewash those spoons. I also like to eat my yoguart with plastic spoons, so I rewash those also.

Okay, my dad, he reuses everything! ha.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:43PM
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My Dad was so cheap, he never threw out anything used outdoors. He never bought garden hoses, he'd just cut and repair the old ones when he got a leak. And when he died, he left two "collections" in the garage. His power mower spare parts and bicycle part collection. My brother took anything he could use, and the rest went in a dumpster.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:10PM
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Someone suggested I use paper cups and throw them away like they do. I tried that and found I still had to use the dishwasher for plates and other things, so may as well wash real glasses, doesn't cost anymore. I like to drink out of glasses anyway.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:43PM
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I forgot to ad, I absolutely hate plastic flat ware. When we eat at Churches Chicken restaurants I take metal flatware if I remember to. I can't tear into the chicken with those fragile things. I end up using my fingers and I hate that.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:46PM
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You are not alone, lol.
It depends on its plates' raw material, since re-using plastic plates would do harm to health.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 2:24AM
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I noticed my friend doing the same thing and figured i would probably do the same when entertaining. But I went to the Corning Outlet store and bought 20 of the white Corelle dinner plates. (2-3 trips with coupons) I love how light they are, how they fit in the dishwasher, how well they stack.
For color I go to the Party Store and buy the plastic charger plates (which I do wash) and paper napkins to match when entertaining. Fits our relaxed lifestyle.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

As long as the heated dry is NOT on, plastic things do fine in the dishwasher. I like having the option of discarding them if I feel like it because we don't have a dishwasher, but generally we use these things until they break.

The plastic containers that to-go food or bakery items come in are often great for leftovers or for giving people cookies or other food items, taking food to a party or camping and not having to worry about getting your thing back. Some make great planters or mini-greenhouses too.

When I go to a restaurant, I never come close to finishing my beverage so always ask for it in a to-go cup which is usually styrofoam. Those are easy to wash and are handy to have around (for free) for times when I want to take a beverage from home somewhere, especially coffee. It's so hot here in the summer, it's pointless to put a cold beverage in a regular glass unless you're going to drink it very quickly. I re-use styro cups all summer, they pay for themselves in UNwasted tea and lemonade.

Broken plastic forks (or unbroken) are usable as a digging deterrent in pots. If toads, squirrels, or cats disturb potted plants, stick the forks in with the tines sticking up just a bit so it's too difficult for them to step around in there w/o getting poked.

Wonder if Jannie has seen American Pickers...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:54AM
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I remember back in the 50's, Dad went to work daily and bought coffee from a truck every morning, in a styrofoam cup. He brought the cups home, Mom washed them in the sink and we kids used them for between-meal drinks. If they started to get shabby and chewed up, that was whem Mom would throw them out.. I remember deliberately biting holes in them for fun. We always used "real" glasses at meals.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:02AM
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I try to avoid putting acidic food into plastic cups or on plastic or paper plates, as I can't be sure that some possibly nefarious chemicals may not leach out into the food..

I try to avoid heating/reheating food in paper or plastic plates or containers in the microwave, for the same reason, and I think that the possibility of leakage is increased with the heating.

The other night at pizza and movie night at church, they had plastic coated paper plates, and cutlery, both of which I used ...

... but instead of having the coffee in the styrofoam cup provided, I picked up a mug from the shelf, as I like the taste better (and the quantity is larger) ...

... and I washed it myself.

The old guys who meet for coffee at church use ceramic mugs, which suits me fine ... and I usually get stuck with washing most of them (the mugs - not the guys).

With the increase in the population of the world, they've been telling us to use less paper, as the trees produce the oxygen which is essential to our continued life, and most of the plastics are sourced from petroleum, which took millions of years to make, and which we've been using for less than 100 years as though it's going out of style.

Our grandkids will be angry that we've used up much of the easily-obtainable petroleum (and it took us a long time to decide to build fuel-efficient cars).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Yes, I have seen some reusable paper plates which are great alternative to wasteful disposable plates. These plates won't become soggy like traditional paper plates. Also they are economical.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Can anyone tell me why you use them and wash them, why not just regular dishes and cutlery. The point of using paper and plastic is to cut down on the work or to supplement if you don't have enough dishes. I understand the supplementing.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That's a good question. I like having the option to be lazy later in some cases, like camping or hanging out at the beach for the day. Other instances, I was talking about items that come into the house with takeout food. Some people might not have the real thing yet, if they're just starting out on their own. Sometimes I don't like to use metal, like if I'm eating cereal or making chocolate milk, it's just a lot of clinking so I always grab a plastic one, but I'm not going to throw it away just because of that use.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:32AM
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