This post from Wan Yan Ling on Serious Eats about disposable bowls made of leaves makes me wistful for something like this in my country, although I'm sure it'd never get past the FDA. The imagery of completely environmentally kosher litter makes all the plastic I see out on my street right now seem uncivilized.
It used to be that a hole would be dug after a meal, with the used cups and leaves tossed in and covered with mud. This would eventually turn into a rich humus that could be used to fertilize crops. Urban living, however, means these cups and plates tend to end up as litter on the roadsides. While I know litter is litter, somehow, crumpled plastic just does not have the poetry that broken terracotta cups and shredded leaf bowls do. Especially when all that remains of the cups at the end of the day is red dust shimmering in the air.
Is it too much to dream that in my lifetime we'll have gadgets that can be tossed in a wet hole to be composted? That we'll buy phone models by what type of plant seeds are stored inside?
Snapshots from Asia: Leaf Bowls and Terracotta Cups [Serious Eats]