I'm using paper plates and napkins for the food at our reception. I had planned to do this even before our caterer offered them for free (actually included in the cost). Someone mentioned to me recycling facilities. I don't think the site recycles, but I'll check with them. I know I can haul all the recyclables with us. And I might do that, but I also might just forget.
But if you are going to use paper plates, you might want to consider using biodegradable plates like these made from sugar cane.
These 15 plates cost $3.95. If you need 100, it would about $26. Pretty affordable considering a 100 paper plates are $14. Ok so double the price but at least it's under $50.
This cutlery set (found here) is made of recycled plastic. Each set has enough for 8 settings and only costs $5.75.
Or you could buy several sets of real flatware and either keep the ones you need, give the rest to friends, donate them to Goodwill (or similar organization) or sell them to other brides.These biodegradable plates (found here) are a more affordable option at $16 for 125 plates. This site also has bowls and other plates.
The most environmentally friendly way is to use real plates and flatware. They can be reused and don't usually wind up in landfill after each use.
Whatever you decided do what's best for you and your fiance. Let what your venue can provide and what will look right for you guide you. You know best.
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