Humans create massive amounts of waste, leading to global warming and climate change. Waste from materials like plastic drastically affects different ecosystems due to carbon emissions, trash going into rivers, oceans, and freshwater bodies, and excessive use of natural resources.
According to Environment America, the United States generates more than 292 tons of trash annually. Simply put, this is over nine pounds of waste generated every second. Restaurants, catering businesses, hotels, chefs, and homeowners contribute to this problem using plastic or ceramic dinnerware.
Instead of using plastic or ceramic dinnerware that can negatively affect the environment and human health, you can opt for an eco-friendlier and sustainable porcelain tableware/dinnerware. Today’s article will discuss why porcelain dinnerware is more sustainable than plastic or ceramic. Read on!
1. Porcelain Dinnerware is Made From Clay
Bone China, earthenware, melamine, stoneware, ceramic, and porcelain are common dinnerware materials. Porcelain dinnerware is an environmentally friendly product because manufacturers make it from clay.
Most companies follow the traditional approach and use essential ingredients, such as kaolin or clay and petunse. Clay gives porcelain its structure and plasticity, while petunse ensures hardness and translucency. Clay is a biodegradable and natural material sourced from the earth. Because clay comes from the ground, it is easy to recycle and reuse.
In addition, once clay reaches its end of life, companies can recycle it as raw material and use it in porcelain dinnerware. Clay sourcing and production do not require exploiting natural resources. So, porcelain dinnerware significantly contributes to protecting natural resources, including forests and landscapes.
2. Clay Produces Zero Waste
Natural clay dinnerware sets remain the most eco-friendly products, unlike other materials such as ceramic, plastic, or glass. Not only is clay flexible and cost-effective, but they are also suitable for producing beautiful porcelain dinnerware.
Porcelain dinnerware is made of clay, making it a durable product. Research shows that when broken into pieces or particles, porcelain does not harm the environment. Likewise, clay does not release toxic gases into the atmosphere, making them 100% eco-friendly and sustainable.
In addition, porcelain is resistant to moisture and does not emit toxic particles in the air like plastic dinnerware. On the other hand, plastic dinnerware manufacturing may involve using hazardous chemicals and compounds, such as heavy metals, phthalates, flame retardants, fluorinated compounds, and bisphenols.
3. Ceramic Dishes Have a Higher Thermal Mass
Thermal mass means a material can store thermal energy for a prolonged period. A material’s thermal mass decreases the overall heating and reduces carbon emissions. Porcelain is a ceramic material with a higher thermal mass, meaning it won’t crack or break easily.
Besides, it is made by heating kaolin in a kiln with temperatures ranging between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees Celsius. Porcelain’s thermal conductivity is 1.5W/(m·K). In contrast, dinnerware made of plastic comes from materials like propylene and ethylene.
These two materials are derived from fossil fuels, including oil and gas. Remember, extraction and transportation of fossil fuels to manufacture plastic generate billions of tons of greenhouse gases. So, tableware or dinnerware made of plastic is not sustainable and harms the environment.
4. Porcelain is More Durable
Dinnerware durability is directly proportional to its longevity. Porcelain is a durable material and highly resistant to heat. It is even more sturdy than ceramic and plastic, making it denser and less porous.
Simply put, porcelain dinnerware, including plates, bowls, and mugs, absorb less water and are more durable/harder than ceramic and plastic. Besides, porcelain’s rigid structure makes it more resistant to scratches, cracks, and other damages. You can even use the plates to slice and dice food without worrying about the knives scratching or damaging their surface.
Moreover, porcelain is 100% non-porous due to the high firing temperature. It has a smooth, reliable, and resistant surface, meaning it won’t absorb odors, bacteria, or grease. So, you can safely serve food/meals on porcelain plates without worrying about changes in taste.
On the other hand, dinnerware made of plastic is prone to cracks. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, such as in the oven or microwave, can decrease plastic plates or bowl durability and make the dinnerware more prone to chipping, cracking, and breaking.
The clay used for porcelain dinnerware is denser and more refined. Firing it at a higher temperature under substantial pressure makes it more robust, water-resistant, and durable than ordinary ceramic or plastic materials used for dinnerware.
5. Wood can be Turned into Porcelain
Did you know wood can be turned into porcelain? Yes, that’s true! Wood comes from forests and is the leading cause of deforestation. Keep in mind that deforestation is a critical environmental problem because it negatively impacts ecosystems and habitats.
So, businesses must follow a sustainable approach to mitigate the increasing risk of climate change. Therefore, wood is not an ideal choice for manufacturing products. However, wood chips and ashes can be turned into porcelain by adding clays to the mixture. The purpose is to reduce carbon footprints/emissions by producing porcelain used for dinnerware and related products.
Natural minerals, metals, and other materials in the wood give the glaze its color. It also contains calcium carbonate, an essential ingredient in various glaze recipes. Manufacturers use high heat in the kiln to melt the wood into a glaze. The primary objective of glazing porcelain is to make the plates, bowls, and mugs food-safe and waterproof. Finally, wood turned into porcelain is an excellent way to prevent carbon emissions.
Porcelain is a versatile, durable, and eco-friendly material for dinnerware. Porcelain plates are resistant to heat, making them safe for use in microwaves and ovens. If you are looking for premium-quality, durable, and sustainable porcelain dinnerware, MalaCasa is the best place to browse a wide range of designs and choose quality products within your budget. Contact us today for more information, or visit our official website to browse the porcelain dinnerware collection.