Taking a Look at “Eco-Forward” Disposable Dinnerware

I was recently asked to take a look at Bare by Solo, an “eco-forward” line of single-use plates and cups from the popular Solo brand.   As a Homemade Mother, I just do not buy disposable plates and cups, and I am especially wary of mixing food with plastic.  So, my first instinct upon receiving the Bare samples was, quite simply, “No. Way.”

However, before jumping to any conclusion I gave some more thought to this product and its target market. As consumers, we have the power to make our voice heard every time we make a purchase.  If you want companies to spend time and money designing earth-friendlier products, then you have to purchase the earth-friendlier products that hit the market.  If we as consumers shy away from these items, then companies will simply stop innovating.

The Bare by Solo products seem rather innovative.  The plates are made with plant-based renewable materials, the clear plastic cups are made from 20% post-consumer recycled plastic and can be easily recycled, and the oatmeal-colored cups are made from corn and therefore are compostable.  The only hitch here is that the cups must be sent to a “commercial composting facility,” something this Homemade Mother has never encountered.  I checked out findacomposter.com and discovered that the nearest facility is 20 miles from my home – and it certainly wouldn’t be eco-friendly for me to make that drive just to drop off some food scraps and cups!

Should I ever need to purchase disposable cups (probably for a football tailgate in the fall!), I will certainly seek out Bare by Solo.  They held up great in the non-scientific tests I conducted with my two rambunctious little ones here at home, and I really like the subtle oatmeal color (so much cooler than the obnoxious red Solo cups we are more likely to see).  I applaud Solo‘s effort – Bare is a line of disposable (eek!) products even a Homemade Mother can come to appreciate.

My question to Solo is this: if the Bare plates and cups hold up as well as your original, why not switch all your products to the “eco-forward” versions??!

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