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Volume II
August 31, 2003

Real vs. Paper Plate Poll Results

         In last month's issue of the HomeCook'n newsletter, we asked if you use paper plates. Here are the results:

  • Yes, almost every meal (52) 11%
  • Yes, for lunch but not for dinner (30) 6%
  • Sometimes (253) 54%
  • No, never (133) 28%
Total Votes: 468


Paper plates are the best way to go for my hubby who cleans up after meals, while I tend to the little ones. 09/03/03 1:47:02 PM MST

I use it especially for very informal entertaining or family gatherings and visits so that cleanup is quick and I can spend more time with family and friends and not in the kitchen. I value time spent with family and friends over oft times superficial attitude that goes along with an I-always-use-real-china attitude; exceptions, of course with daily meals and very special sit down meals and occasions. 09/01/03 4:13:25 PM MST

On very few occasions I will use paper plates, depending on the type of meal, the head count, and the ease with which to clean up: otherwise, it's regular dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. 08/31/03 8:11:22 AM MST

Paper certainly has it"s Place! 08/29/03 7:20:32 AM MST

Paper plates are for snacks; real plates are for meals. It is easier to clean real plates than clutter the trash with meshy paper plates. 08/25/03 8:11:43 PM MST

Paper plates are just another way to fill landfills 08/25/03 4:04:13 PM MST

Only with certain meal and/or foods 08/25/03 10:38:21 AM MST

Only use heayduty ones for cookouts 08/25/03 4:30:39 AM MST

good solid paper plates are great for out door use,but real china makes a beautiful dinner setting 08/22/03 6:52:10 PM MST

ONLY good for outdoor eating!!!!! 08/22/03 10:39:33 AM MST

we use them when "Boon-docking" in or RV almost exclusively. Also the tough plastic eating utensils. 08/20/03 3:42:25 PM MST

paper plates are not good for th landfill 08/18/03 6:33:17 PM MST

Only on picnics. 08/13/03 9:42:06 PM MST

Help your wife clean up after meals and I'll bet you can use all the real plates you want 08/13/03 5:44:24 AM MST

We use disposable plates for birthday parties and times we don't want to be stuck in the kitchen cleaning up. I buy the ones that are heavier and don't fold up with liquid or hot food. 08/12/03 11:29:22 AM MST

I use paper plates only when we have a big group like the 4th of July or something like that. Otherwise real plates are the way to go. 08/11/03 7:37:53 AM MST

For picnics away from home, OK. But please, think of our environment! We have way too much disposable stuff these days. 08/10/03 2:18:44 PM MST

We only use paper plates for family and friend get togethers so every one is out of the kitchen faster. 08/09/03 4:47:19 PM MST

Dan, I totally agree with you! Paper plates are only to be used for picnic situations and even then plates are better, if you can. I also prefer not to use plastic utensils, unless absolutely necessary! 08/09/03 1:35:41 PM MST

Used only outdoors 08/09/03 4:33:13 AM MST

I will use paper plates, but NEVER use plastic cutlery!!! If it's a casual meal and lots of folks, and sometimes just for dessert, but not fot the acctual meal for many of the same reasons Dan gave. 08/07/03 5:39:06 PM MST

It depends on what the meal is. (Ex. a Sandwich or a Steak) and how much time we have for cleanup, if we are in a hurry to get somewhere, then its paper plates all the way! 08/07/03 11:10:28 AM MST

place settings and the plate set the mood of the meal ! If you want a nice meal PLS don't use paper, why go to all that work and then loose it at the presentation 08/07/03 4:59:02 AM MST

I would just as soon not eat as to eat on paper plates. Even picnics are more enjoyable when done with a hard surface plate. It does not take long to put a plate in the dishwasher or for that matter to simply wash it. Lazy is not my idea of eating. Presentation of food is 3/4 of the eating. 08/06/03 8:25:23 PM MST

I enjoy cooking and seeing people enjoy the food and putting it on paper plates, that I can taste the paper and the messiness of them is not worth it to me. Yeah for dishwashers 08/06/03 7:54:24 PM MST

I'm with you Dan I hate to eat on paper plates it seam so tacky. 08/06/03 7:19:02 PM MST

Only for informal entertaining 08/05/03 6:27:31 PM MST

paper plates belong at BBQ's and maybe for kids when eating lunch - never for supper!!! Lana Vargas - Honolulu Hawaii 08/05/03 2:49:14 PM MST

paper plates are not wanted in my home 08/05/03 11:51:08 AM MST

Just my husband and me. Both work full time +. We run the dishwasher maybe once a week. I load, he unloads. We don't cook much anymore either. Dinner tonight was great ham & baby swiss on whole wheat buns. Works out great for us! 08/04/03 8:38:38 PM MST


Why throw money away. 08/04/03 5:22:41 PM MST

I'm single and lazy, paper plates work well.. 08/04/03 3:28:47 PM MST

Mostly at luch time, but only if its a sandwich, never anything that is wet. 08/04/03 2:38:07 PM MST

only for picnics/camping 08/04/03 1:04:54 PM MST

To the person who said paper plates are easier on the ecology than washing -- some stats please. 08/04/03 12:45:28 PM MST

Only use paper plates for picnics and then they'd better be plastic coated. Can't imagine using them for dinner 08/04/03 11:51:57 AM MST

paper plates are for picnics or camping 08/04/03 8:54:14 AM MST

The only time paper plates are ok is for a picnic or if the water is turned off for a period of time. 08/04/03 8:28:13 AM MST

never at home but on picnics 08/03/03 10:10:04 PM MST

Great when you have alot of company 08/03/03 6:48:50 PM MST

Okay for a picnic but that's it 08/03/03 4:25:31 PM MST

take the mircorwave away and I'd use 1/2 the number 08/03/03 2:24:38 PM MST

They are very useful when food is "dry" with no sauces and/or juices. I have served dinner to my family -- quests get china unless it is a casual bbq type meal! 08/03/03 11:14:22 AM MST

The only time I use them is for "party" cookouts when I don't have enough real plates. 08/03/03 7:19:43 AM MST

If I have a large crowd, I will opt for the paper plates, but only if all the dishes wouldn't fit in the dishwasher 08/03/03 7:01:54 AM MST

We used to use paper plates much more. Once I got a dish washer I went back to using real plates and we like them MUCH better. So if your wife does not have a dish washer and you want real plates - BUY HER ONE!!! It maybe just the ticket to her using real plates to make you happy!!! Elaine Truex 08/03/03 6:10:25 AM MST

I make sure that the dishwasher is empty at the beginning of the meal and clean up is just as quick as with paper 08/02/03 6:39:54 PM MST

I agree with your wife; paper plates make cleanup easier with multiple kids, husband, a dog, and all the everyday things that have to get done! However, we do eat on real plates occasionally. 08/02/03 6:32:41 PM MST

I voted sometimes, it depends on the food served 08/02/03 2:32:22 PM MST

Paper plates are for large gatherings not for home cooked meals. 08/02/03 12:12:44 PM MST

waste of paper 08/02/03 11:34:33 AM MST

Paper plates contribute to the land fill sites , but eventually melt away.. 08/02/03 10:22:29 AM MST

Paper plates are convenient, yes, but also indulgently wasteful. I'm sure I would cringe (to put it lightly) to see what percentage of our landfills' space is taken up by disposable kitchenware. Maybe real dishes aren’t super-practical, but neither is putting our planet out on the curb for the garbage man to haul away. I know it's a lot of trouble when you're exhausted, but the rest of the family can help clean up. And if they fuss about it or don't cooperate, let them know in no uncertain terms that you don’t like having to do yours and everybody’s dishes any more than they like doing their own… and dessert remains unavailable until they decide to help out. Besides, real plates are can be a elf-courtesy -- treat yourself right and use the good china once in a while! : ) 08/02/03 10:21:14 AM MST

i agrre with you. i dont like the mess it costs more cleanup isnt easier than a dishwasher reall looks nicer doesnt fall apart or leak. and we are not killing trees to make it or filling our landfills with sturofoam that wont biodegrade 08/02/03 8:52:14 AM MST

We use the styrofoam 'paper' plates. 08/02/03 7:55:17 AM MST

I use then, but I don't like them 08/02/03 7:35:34 AM MST

Use them for family cook-outs. It DOES make clean up easier, but trash day is a nightmare! 08/02/03 6:44:43 AM MST

There are so many beautiful dishes,I like to serve food as well as decoration when I cook regardless of the meal 08/01/03 8:30:58 PM MST

very seldom do we lunch from paper , but great for snacks! 08/01/03 6:32:34 PM MST

I hate paper plates with a vengance 08/01/03 6:01:35 PM MST

I'd give Dan a china plate and the rest of the family paper! 08/01/03 5:19:02 PM MST


To me "sometimes" means usually just for take home pizza because it absorbs the oil, or for for reheating burritos because they get soggy in the microwave oven on a china plate. Dan, I think you're right, but a compromise is probably the best answer. 08/01/03 5:13:20 PM MST

For special times 08/01/03 4:54:32 PM MST

We use them when we camp or when our limited supply of real plates are waiting for the dishwasher to fill up! 08/01/03 4:17:47 PM MST

If you go to the trouble to prepare a nice meal, it shouldn't be served on paper plates 08/01/03 4:14:17 PM MST

With teenagers in the house every dish counts! 08/01/03 4:07:09 PM MST

PAPER PLATES! Ewwwww. Real plates are nicer, sturdier, and more civilized. 08/01/03 3:42:11 PM MST

I got us some of those plastic plate holders and those this paper plates clip onto them very nicely and all I have to do is wipe the plastic holders rim and throw the plates away. They are the one that you can get like 150-300 in a big pack. We like them because our grandchildren can carry their own plates without fear of breaking them. They're inexpensive. 08/01/03 3:25:44 PM MST

Paper plates are good for picnics and where your dishwasher is not!! With the dishwasher I think paper plates not necessary as do you! 08/01/03 1:43:34 PM MST

Only for picnics 08/01/03 12:50:27 PM MST

we even use the reusable ones 08/01/03 12:39:24 PM MST

only when i am giving party ,i am using paper plate,otherwise i don't like to use papre plates 08/01/03 12:33:40 PM MST

We use plastic-coated that stand up to liquids! 08/01/03 11:06:01 AM MST

So what? Everyday your looking for a quick cleanup, always! So fess up, during the busy week, I go with paper. Use Chinet, it's quite strong. 08/01/03 10:37:13 AM MST

rarely, and only when I am in a big rush... prefer real plates 08/01/03 10:12:40 AM MST

I do not have a dishwasher, so I find paper plates very convenient. 08/01/03 10:10:47 AM MST

I tend to use them for sandwhiches, snacks, and cut up fruit, rather than meals 08/01/03 10:05:31 AM MST

use only for picnics but never for daily meals 08/01/03 9:57:04 AM MST

They are great when your short on time or you don't want your china outside 08/01/03 9:24:08 AM MST

I would rather use real dishes, but no one seems able to put them into the dishwasher so they just stack up! This way, everyone throws their own away this way. 08/01/03 8:55:35 AM MST

I am really against using too many throw away things, but I recently gave in and started buying the cheapes plates. I don't use them when we are having something too messy, but they are great for morning toast and lunchtime. They are also great for when we order pizza or have burgers cooked on the grill. I'm hooked! Sorry Dan! Save your wife a bit of time in the kitchen, and consider it more time you get to spend with her! 08/01/03 8:36:18 AM MST

There is a time and place for everything. 08/01/03 8:03:36 AM MST

For the Ecology lover: Actually, paper plates are more environment friendly then using the dishwasher and adding soap to the waste water. 08/01/03 7:31:14 AM MST

We only use paper plates when we Bar B Que 08/01/03 7:27:57 AM MST

paper plates are for picnics 08/01/03 7:13:59 AM MST

Most of us have dishwashers, use them. How many of the same people who use paper plates also demonstrate for saving the ecology.? Duh! 08/01/03 6:51:39 AM MST

Hard to vote between sometimes and never, never by choice, sometimes when visiting. 08/01/03 5:52:04 AM MST

We use when washing dishes is difficult 08/01/03 5:51:33 AM MST

There's something wonderful about eating food on china dishes. To me, the food tastes better. 08/01/03 5:34:42 AM MST

when you buy the better quality paper plates they don't fall appart . Paper plates are colorful (i buy mine in a party store outlet) and you can brighten up the dinner table with them. Can obtain plates that complement most any theme meal you can think of - oriental - mexican - hot spicy - etc. The downside is the cost - yes it probably would be more economical to use real plates but, same dishes all the time is boring. 08/01/03 4:43:34 AM MST


Help her clean up! 07/31/03 10:17:51 PM MST

mostly for picnics but on weekends it is nice to use for lunch less clean up. 07/31/03 10:05:21 PM MST

Every so often I get fed up with doing dishes(usually in the summer) and decide to buy paper plates, the problem is that suddenly we are taking out the trash twice as much. It's a catch 22 situation! 07/31/03 9:00:28 PM MST

eating on paper plates is for single college kids...LOL 07/31/03 8:53:02 PM MST

We use paper plates only on picnic-style outings. I can't imagine eggs, steak, or other goodies on paper plates. I don't take them to potlucks; I have some Corelle plates for that purpose. They are good in their place, but for ordinary use, give me 'REAL" plates. 07/31/03 8:30:36 PM MST

have to clean up dishes, silverware, glasses go for real plates. Like you said, dishwasher is there. It is a pain to unload and load, but like I said, have to do it for accessories anyway! 07/31/03 8:04:19 PM MST

With 3 kids under 4 years old, it really saves me time to use paper! My time is worth more than the cost of the plates. 07/31/03 7:49:57 PM MST

I use them hot dogs,chips lite foods,mainly for grandkids. I don't like to use them for a lot of meals I cook..But they are good for breading on or certain activities you do in cooking. 07/31/03 7:40:55 PM MST

I use paper plates (& cups) mainly for the backyard bar-b-q or buffets for groups and for lunches. Some of the designs are so pretty now. It is almost like linking the design to the occasion. 07/31/03 7:03:15 PM MST

I think you said it. Paper plates stink!! 07/31/03 6:42:57 PM MST

I never use paper plates. Ever!! Not even when we have a house full of kids and grands. I just run the dishwasher more often. My Mom never used them, I never use them.....I just don't even think about it being an option. =) 07/31/03 6:39:15 PM MST

Good for hurried meals or meals outside, but not otherwise. 07/31/03 6:35:23 PM MST

picnic's & fast lunches only 07/31/03 6:15:22 PM MST

i bet if the hubby offered to help clean up he'd have things his way !!!!!! 07/31/03 6:06:58 PM MST

for barbeques or large family reunions etc. 07/31/03 5:57:39 PM MST

The only time I would EVER use paper plates is for picnics......I feel that is the only time acceptable! 07/31/03 5:26:34 PM MST

Most meals we do not use paper. With sandwiches and chips or pizza they are just fine and dandy for us. Marian and Wendell 07/31/03 5:04:07 PM MST

I said no but I have eaten off paper plates at a picnic. I don't use them for meals at home, though. 07/31/03 4:35:03 PM MST

Food presentation is as important as food preparation! I don't think servin al on a paper plate is very attractive. Karen Ferguson 07/31/03 4:09:53 PM MST

paper plates are expensive and it takes trees to make them. I find it much easier to wash china than to discard paper plates in the garbage. 07/31/03 3:59:53 PM MST

As much as it pains me to get in the middle of a him/her dispute, I have to say that I don't like paper plates either. However, if I know that time, energy, etc. are going to be at a premium, I will buy some of the coated, heavier disposable plates, just for the occassion. Remember, folks, almost NOTHING is non-negotiable :) 07/31/03 3:44:43 PM MST

I just can't pay for paper plates when I can wash mine for free! Well almost LOL 07/31/03 3:11:34 PM MST

We use paper plates only when we have a large crowd 07/31/03 2:56:23 PM MST

Aside from the fact that paper plates are flimsy and unpleasant to eat from, they are expensive and TERRIBLE for the ecology - pre and post use. 07/31/03 2:19:51 PM MST

Waste of money! 07/31/03 1:57:03 PM MST

we only use paper plates when we have a lot of people to serve. 07/31/03 1:56:19 PM MST

less dish washing 07/31/03 1:36:57 PM MST

I agree with Dan paper plates SUCK 07/31/03 1:29:02 PM MST

sandwiches & pizza 07/31/03 1:07:25 PM MST

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