Consumer Reports: 'greener' paper plates - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: 'greener' paper plates

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Paper plates are perfect for a no-fuss party or barbecue. But the tossed plates do add up.

What about those plates that claim they'll break down right in your compost? 

Consumer Reports checked out two:  Chinet Classic White Plates and Hefty Basic Plates. 

Hefty claims its plates are "biodegradable in home composting" and have "no inks or 
coatings."

Chinet claims its eco-friendly plates are made from "recycled materials" and are also compostable. 

Testers composted the plates at Consumer Reports' headquarters. They put one of each plate in a separate compost bin and went back each week to check on the progress.

Consumer Reports also composted two regular types of paper plates, the Dixie Ultra and America's Choice, for comparison.

Of course, you don’t want your plates breaking down while you’re eating, so staffers 
checked out the plates at a company picnic. 

Then there was the chili test. Testers scooped one cup of chili onto each plate, and the 
plates were left on a lab counter to see whether chili leaked through.

It didn’t. But all of the plates did allow some steam to seep through them.

As for the composting, the Hefty plates disintegrated after three weeks. The Chinet, five 
weeks. It took longer, but both of the regular plates broke down, in about three months. 

Consumer Reports’ take: if going green is important, the Chinet or the Hefty Basics 
plates can get the job done, and they don’t cost a lot more.

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