Eat Drink Better

Published on October 22nd, 2009 | by Becky Striepe


Earth-Friendly Disposable Dinnerware from Fallen Leaves

Not only is VerTerra’s dinnerware all natural, it’s biodegradable and compostable, too!

The holidays are coming fast, and that means you’ve probably got some shindigs in the works! Sometimes, especially with a lengthy guest list, it’s just so much easier to use disposable dinnerware rather than deal with a mountain of dirty dishes at the end of the night. VerTerra wants you to toss those plates, bowls, and serving trays while feeling guilt-free!

Company founder Michael Dwok describes his experience that launched the company:

VerTerra was born from the most simple and unexpected encounter.

As my car bumped its way down a dirt road in rural India, I saw a woman soaking leaves in water, then pressing them in a crude waffle iron. She pulled out what looked like a plate and served food on it.

To this day, I can’t remember what I ate, but that simple organic plate started me on a journey to refine what I saw that day into a stylish, durable and truly environmentally-friendly line of single-use dinnerware.

Our mission is to help make a difference in the world, one party at a time.

They make their dishes out of fallen palm leaves and water using a process that takes 90% less energy than recycling paper, and they recapture 84% of water used in their production. VerTerra’s dishware is certified compostable by The Biodegradable Products Institute and when your party is over, you can just toss your dishes right into the compost bin!

Depending on what you served, you may need to scrape any leftover food into the trash – there are some food items that don’t fare well in the compost bin.

If you want to give VerTerra dinnerware a try, you can check out their online shop. You can also give these dishes a whirl at the Statue of Liberty, where they use VerTerra for concessions!

Image Credit: Photos courtesy of Verterra. Food photo by Theodore Samuels for photography, Silkstone Events.

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to Earth-Friendly Disposable Dinnerware from Fallen Leaves

  1. Paul Smith says:

    Thanks for the great review. We’re proud of our products, and happy to have been able to make them much more affordable, and increasingly sustainable (ie all leaf scraps get ground into powder, given back to the farmers growing the trees, usable as fertilizer) We’re aiming for 90% water reuse in our factory, as well.

    Our store has primarily wholesale/large event quantities, but if you’d like to get them in personal sized amounts, go to the top right corner of and click Store Locator. We’re in about 300 stores and several online outlets now.

    If anybody has other questions about Verterra, I’m happy to answer.

  2. Stephan says:

    I actually really like the design of the dinnerware. It looks really nice, my compliments. Great to see that it is environmentally friendly, some thing that is certainly required in this era.

    For more info on the environment, please have a look at this Green News.

  3. Kip says:

    We’ve been looking into all sorts of bio-based disposables for the wedding and so far these are most definitely our favorites! Thanks for the post!

  4. shinie says:

    you will be suprised to know that the people of kerala still uses leaves and plates and spoons.certain plants like the coconut plam and the bananna plant-all parts are used by man .

  5. Paul Smith says:

    @shinie yes, it’s amazing how resourceful and creative people can be.

  6. I’m a big believer in biodegradable products. The VerTerra dishware is awesome. You know there are many other biodegradable materials as well. Sugarcane fiber, also known as bagasse (, corn which is used to make polylactic acid (, and other starches like potatoes and wheat all work great for biodegradable disposable dishware.

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