Is a plastic-free future possible for the horeca sector? We'll find out soon: in 2021 European legislation will come into force which will ban the consumption in the EU of single-use plastic products such as cutlery, plates, glasses, straws, cotton buds, drink mixers and so on.

All these single-use plastic products represent 70% of the waste in the sea. Plastic resists time, so much so that remains are often found in fish and molluscs.
The emergency is so serious that the European Parliament approved the legislation with 560 votes in favor, 35 against and 28 abstentions. But how to make your place plastic free? Here are some ideas.


If the aperitif moment is the core business of your business, you are wondering how to do with buffet saucers and forks? Porcelain plates are a traditional alternative, certainly more environmentally friendly.

But if your volumes are very large or you don't have adequate washing equipment, the most interesting solutions are made up of biodegradable compostable items. We speak, for example, of bioplastic crockery, made with renewable material of plant origin. There is no shortage of products created with the so-called cellulose pulp, or paper plates and cutlery that can be recycled and even if they end up in the environment they would be biodegradable. This new market, however, opens the question of the quantity of trees that should be used to make these products in a massive way to replace plastic.


If you work a lot with take away, know that there are materials that are not in vogue but that could soon become useful. Bagasse , for example, is a waste from sugar cane processing which, due to its resistance, is ideal for food packaging. It looks similar to cardboard, but is more environmentally friendly.

For take-away dishes, containers and lids could be used in PLA, a family of biopolymers deriving from 100% biodegradable corn starch . These products resist a maximum temperature of 45° and are transparent, also useful for coffee to go.

All wood and bamboo products for food are also in great demand. Caterers can choose from a variety of trays, bowls, cutlery and containers in different sizes. Bamboo cutlery are real design objects and are completely biodegradable.
In addition to committing yourself to replacing plastic, you could encourage responsible behavior from your customers by setting up a form of reward for those who use their water bottles or coffee thermos.


The straws

The symbol of the plastic free revolution. The plastic straw was invented by Marvin C. Stone in 1880 and was further improved in 1937 by Joseph Friedman. But the idea is much older: it seems that the Sumerians already used it in 3000 BC
Taking inspiration from the ingenuity of our ancestors and applying it to modern materials, today we find a wide range of alternatives to plastic.

The colored paper straw, biodegradable and scenic, is one of the possibilities. However, it risks being consumed on the bottom if it remains in contact with the liquid of the drink for too long. Already mentioned for dishes and cutlery, bamboo is also used to make straws that are completely biodegradable, resistant, easy to clean and not prone to mold.

In the most fashionable cocktail bars, however, the steel straw has appeared: eco-friendly, reusable and resistant to frequent washing. A similar success is also enjoyed by the glass straw, which must be treated with care. The linear design and the transparent color highlight the color of the drink and make every sip spectacular.

In short, there are many alternatives to plastic and for all needs: we advise you to take the 2021 legislation as an opportunity to renew your equipment with durable and reusable materials. Do you want to do more for our planet? Think about saving energy with Combi Wave Smart, which minimizes consumption and cooks even in stand-by mode.

April 16, 2024