If a beautiful set of plastic flatware has recently caught your eye, you might be wondering what exactly you can use it for. Of course, if we’re talking about single-use flatware, like plastic forks or plastic sporks, then we all know that their purpose is to be used once during some kind of gathering where food is involved.
However, today’s high-quality plastic cutlery isn’t single-use at all. Indeed, thanks to a special manufacturing process, it can be cleaned in the dishwasher and reused many times over. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this type of cutlery and what exactly you can do with it when it comes to your feeding habits.
Can You Really Reuse Plastic Cutlery?
You might be totally surprised to learn that some plastic cutlery can be reused.
Although the term “plastic cutlery” conjures up images of flimsy forks, plastic knives, and spoons, some manufacturers actually make disposable flatware that’s built to last. By using thicker materials and a special coating, high-end plastic cutlery can last you a really long time, and can decrease plastic pollution by replacing single-use plastics. Every day items like plastic bags, plastic straws, and even plastic hoses can be a threat to ocean animals, but opting for reusable versions of these items can reduce the risks.
Of course, in these post-pandemic times, properly sanitizing flatware is incredibly important. The good news is that superior plastic cutlery can absolutely withstand being exposed to soap, water, and heat just like real silverware. Indeed, just like with regular flatware, you can wash it by hand or throw it in the dishwasher (with just a few modifications).
If you’re planning to put plastic cutlery in the dishwasher, then place it in the dishwasher basket as you normally would. However, it’s a good idea to try to keep it on the top rack to avoid too much heat exposure. But while this is definitely the most convenient method, handwashing is a much gentler method that will keep your cutlery lasting as long as possible.
If you’re planning to wash reusable cutlery by hand, then soaking your cutlery first will be helpful in getting rid of any grease or stubborn food stains—this is a good way to avoid having to scrub them on a daily basis. After they’re done soaking, simply wash them with soap and warm water, and let them air dry. After that’s done, your plastic cutlery will look good as new!
Top 5 Benefits of Reusable Plastic Cutlery
Okay, now that we have the question of whether plastic cutlery can be reused out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you would want to use reusable plastic cutlery in the first place. Here are our five top benefits of reusable plastic cutlery.
1. It’s More Lightweight
Plastic cutlery is incredibly lightweight, which we think is one of its greatest benefits.
If you’re traveling somewhere, the last thing you want to do is lug around heavy metal cutlery, especially if you’re already carrying a container of food. Fortunately, plastic cutlery is much lighter and will be basically inconspicuous in your bag.
Of course, nobody wants to use flimsy utensils that can easily bend or crack. Thankfully, manufacturers of high-end utensils put a special coating on top that makes them feel super sturdy without the extra weight of metal.
2. It’s More Convenient
When you think about it, it seems that high-quality plastic disposable cutlery has many more uses than regular silverware. For instance, you can use them for dining at home and for throwing parties—as you would with regular silverware. However, there are also instances where only disposable plastic cutlery will do the trick, which makes them much more versatile.
And while we’re all for reusing your plastic cutlery, sometimes that’s not really an option. For example, if you’re bringing along something to eat when traveling, you probably don’t want to carry around a dirty utensil until you can get to a sink. While you won’t feel good about throwing out a metal utensil, you can totally do so with a disposable option without thinking twice about it.
So, not only can you get many more uses out of plastic utensils compared to metal silverware, but you can totally throw them out sans guilt if the situation calls for easier cleanup. For this reason, plastic cutlery is much more convenient.
3. It’s More Economical
If you’re throwing a party that involves food (which, let’s be honest, is almost every party), then you always have to ask yourself which utensils your guests will use.
If you plan to use regular silverware, then you’ll either need to either buy enough for all of your guests or rent it for the day. Between the appetizer and dinner forks, soup and dessert spoons, and all the different knives your guests will need, you might be looking at a pretty significant investment—hardly something we want to do for one night.
Disposable utensils, on the other hand, are a much more economical choice—regardless of whether you reuse them or not. So, if you’re throwing a party for a not-so-small number of guests and want to keep things under a certain budget, then plastic cutlery just might be the perfect choice for you.
4. It’s Safer
If you’ve been around kids, then you know that any basic household item can turn into a prop to fuel their games of imagination. So, naturally, you’d be worried about metal knives and forks that will, without doubt, be turned into swords and pitchforks. For this reason, metal cutlery might keep more than a few parents on edge.
But plastic cutlery, on the other hand, is a pretty safe choice that will prevent someone from accidentally poking their eye out. Although it’s sturdy, a plastic utensil won’t have the strength to injure anyone. This is probably why they’re allowed through airport security—which is just another benefit of getting some plastic cutlery for yourself.
5. It Looks So Pretty
For some reason, there are many more choices in color and design when it comes to plastic cutlery. This is really important if you’re throwing a themed party that requires your tableware to match.
And while anything goes with classic party themes, what happens if you want to pick something more unique? Well, in that case, traditional silverware won’t do the trick as well as colorful plastic cutlery and matching paper napkins.
Plus, plastic cutlery looks much cuter and more playful. So, if you don’t want your event to feel too formal (read: stuffy), then colorful plastic cutlery will be the perfect way to (literally and figuratively) lighten things up.
When Should I Use Reusable Plastic Cutlery?
You might be wondering when you should use plastic silverware instead of the regular thing. Honestly—because of how pretty it looks—we think that any time you use regular flatware, you can sub it out with plastic cutlery. But here are three occasions when reusable plastic cutlery is an absolute must.
1. If You’re Throwing a Party
Plastic silverware is an absolute necessity if you’re throwing a party—especially in post-pandemic times. While we’re not advocating for reusing plastic cutlery after a party, you’re likely going to end up with more of it than you need. For this reason, the leftover utensils can be used by you many times over, but the ones used at the party mealtime can be disposed of with zero hesitation. This is also a great option for a foodservice operation, and there are even some compostable cutlery options available that can then be brought to commercial composting facilities to reduce plastic waste.
Another reason we would use plastic cutlery at a party is that it gives it more of an opportunity to experiment, play around, and find something that matches the theme. There are tons of options available for plastic cutlery that will match exactly what you had in mind. Fortunately, plastic cutlery is not a major commitment, so you can experiment as much as you like with new styles.
2. If You’re Having a Picnic
When it comes to picnics, the last thing we want to do is carry around metal utensils. Not only does this add unnecessary heavy weights to our picnic baskets, but we can’t definitely foresee someone throwing it out by accident.
So, Instead, we want something lightweight that we won’t be afraid to misplace or toss in the trash with food wrappers. Plus, we would love for it to match our floral picnic plates. As a bonus, when it comes to plastic cutlery, you can decide if you want to throw them out at the end of the picnic or use them another time in the future.
3. If You’re Bringing Food To Go
If you’re on the go, you want something that will keep your bag as light as possible (hey, those heavy shoulder bags can do some serious damage). So, whether you’re bringing your own snacks or lunch to work, flying to another country, or taking a road trip, plastic utensils will make your life that much easier.
Here’s to the Prettiest Utensils
When it comes to high-quality plastic utensils, they absolutely can be reused many times over—similar to traditional silverware. Aside from that, plastic cutlery is more convenient, lightweight, and super pretty, and when you re-use it, the sea turtles will thank you.
So, whether you’re throwing a birthday party, packing a picnic, or just simply bringing your lunch to work, plastic cutlery will make the perfect companion. And, of course, they won’t be too bad to look at, either.