I’ve been using the bowls I ordered from Verterra — the dishes made from pressed leaves – for a couple of weeks now. They’re sold as disposable, but can be hand-washed and reused without much issue. They’ll warp a little as they dry, but they tend to retain their essential bowlness. I’ve even heated up some stuff in the microwave which freaked me out a little, not because I thought they’d lose structure, but because I thought the food might cook into the leaf a little bit making them more difficult to clean. But so far that hasn’t happened.
What has happened is that I put one in the dishwasher. It’s pretty much unusable now — it went pretty flat — but what’s good to know is that it stayed in one piece. The Verterra bowls are clearly pressed from a single leaf, so the worst that’s going to happen if you put one in the dishwasher is that you lose the bowl, which is supposed to be disposable anyway. I didn’t even notice any bits of plant matter on any other clean dishes.
When we first pointed these out, someone said they were a representative of Verterra and would ask the CEO about whether or not it would be possible to see the same technique being applied to local leaf stocks, since importing a bunch of disposable plates from Asia isn’t exactly the greenest option in the world. We still haven’t heard back, but it’s a fair question.
Otherwise, though, I’m really impressed by these. I feel a little weird about mail-ordering semi-disposable plates and bowls, but if I could pick these up at a local store I’d probably keep several stacks of different sizes on hand.
Verterra product page [Verterra.com]