Disposable plastic plastic plates for camping, Styrofoam plates for both fast food and convenience food are creating an unnecessary burden on our landfills.
But there are alternatives.
Earlier in 2016 a group of researchers from a university in Thailand developed a new type of waterproof bowl made of leaves. The women behind the leaf plates felt inspired to design a replacement for Styrofoam when they saw large amounts of trash at a Temple in their country.
These natural plates look beautiful and are woven tightly enough that they will not leak. They used starch to create a glossy look to the dinnerware, and once used, these dishes will decompose naturally.
Their research indicates that the leaves from Kwao (bastard teak), Sak (teak) and Sai (banyan) trees worked the best for these plates and bowls.
The researchers have applied for a patent; however, the idea of leaf dining ware is not new. In fact, this method has been used for generations in India and Nepal.
Also, in the Philippines, a traditional way of eating is to use basket plates lined with banana leaves.
If you have ever used a leaf plate or similar natural plates, please let us know in the comments below.