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jca2's avatar

When you're at home, do you use paper plates and plastic cups and utensils?

Asked by jca2 (6210points) March 21st, 2019

I confess to using paper plates often when I’m at home. Not for all meals, of course, but sometimes for a snack or dessert, I’ll put it on a paper plate.

When I view friends’ photos of food on Facebook, often they’re using paper plates.

We have friends that we often visit on Sundays for dinner and the dessert will be on paper plates.

My mom, however, may she rest in peace, would never have put anything on paper plates, even if she had a cookout in the summer.

Do you use paper plates and disposable cups and utensils at home, ever?

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16 Answers

janbb's avatar

Perhaps sometimes at a barbecue but otherwise never. At this point for me, it’s an environmental issue.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t even have paper plates in the house. I’m with @janbb. It’s an environmental thing. I don’t even use them when I’m camping. I have a bunch of Solo cups, but I wash and reuse those instead of throwing them away.

YARNLADY's avatar

I confess that my family uses paper plates, plastic utensils and disposable cups. I try to minimize the impact by using each one multiple times, washing or wiping after each use, but we go through a lot. (Lowers eyes in shame)

hmmmmmm's avatar

Can I ask – why do you use paper plates and disposable cups?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I imagine so she doesn’t have to wash them.

jca2's avatar

@hmmmmmm: I’m not sure who you are asking the question of, but if you’re asking me, I use them so that I don’t have to wash them. I have a child, and if I have, let’s say, two things for breakfast separately, like a bagel and some cut up fruit, and she has similar, that would be easily four plates in the sink to wash. Plus she may have eggs for breakfast, that makes five plates total. If we’re having a snack on a weekend afternoon, there are more plates. Dessert, more plates.

I don’t do plastic utensils at home and if I use them at work I try to reuse them. Cups, the same thing. I’ll reuse my coffee cup for a week or two if it’s disposable.

If I dry my hands after washing, using a paper towel, I’ll try to lay the paper towel out so it dries and I can reuse it, or I will use it for something else, like wiping the floor or counter.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2 – Do you have a dishwasher?

I don’t mean for this to come off as a lecture (especially because in the scheme of things, your individual preferences aren’t really moving things either way environmentally), but….

I have 3 kids, and we never once used paper/plastic. Washing plates, cups, etc by hand doesn’t take long. And if you have a dishwasher, you don’t have to worry about it. Yes, the plates can add up, but we have always had tried to look at a meal (or snack) as a whole, which includes prep, eating, and cleanup. We’re all involved in it.

Additionally, rather than use a paper towel to dry your hands, have you considered getting some inexpensive hand towels or wash cloths? We have a ton of wash cloths that we use in the kitchen for drying our hands or wiping off the counter.

While I think the environmental benefits are worth it, I really think there are no real downsides to moving away from paper and plastic – even if you are busy and have kids.

jca2's avatar

@hmmmmmm: I do have a dishwasher. I do also use a kitchen towel to dry my hands, in the kitchen. In the bathroom, of course, I use a hand towel.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Why 4 plates? Do you use a seperate plate for each food?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2: “I do have a dishwasher.”

That means that all you have to do is put them in the dishwasher – not wash them by hand, right?

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll I may not eat all the food at the same time. Two plates for me, two for her. Small plates.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Why would you wash a plate if all you had on it was a bagel? I’d just brush the crumbs off and put it away.

jca2's avatar

I’m sorry, @Dutchess_lll, I can’t be the apologist for the country’s paper plate use.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I didn’t say anything about you using paper plates. I just said I don’t use them.

canidmajor's avatar

Never. The main reason is environmental, but I also hate the feel of plastic utensils in my mouth and the potential mess of failed paper plates and dishes.
Washing dishes doesn’t bother me.

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