|

Claim check: Chinet Classic White and Hefty Basics plates

Do these disposable dishes decompose?

Consumer Reports magazine: February 2013

The claim. Chinet Classic White plates and Hefty Basics Plates are claimed to be “biodegradable in home composting” yet strong and durable. Chinet says its plates are made from recycled material; Hefty says its plates, which are tan, have no inks or coatings.

The check. We put the plates in a compost pile at our Yonkers, N.Y., facility, using no special effort to help them break down. (To keep tabs on their condition, we placed them inside individual containers of compost and periodically checked for decomposition.) To test the plates’ strength in use, we used them at a picnic, and to hold hot chili. And we used a machine to test how easy it was to bend the plates. We also ran all of those tests on two paper plates that aren’t claimed to be compostable: Dixie Ultra and America’s Choice.

Bottom line.
Poof! The Hefty disintegrated completely in three weeks; the Chinet in five weeks. The other plates disintegrated, too. The process took longer, but when we checked at three months, they were gone. Dixie was strongest, followed by Chinet, Hefty, and the clear loser—America’s Choice, which worked best if our picnickers nestled two or three plates. No plates leaked chili, but they all let some steam seep through from top to bottom. The Dixie stayed driest. Going green could cost slightly more green: Per plate, Hefty Basic and Chinet cost about 13 to 15 cents; Dixie Ultra, 9 to 20 cents, depending on the deal we found; and America’s Choice, about 10 cents.

   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

2015 AUTOS SPOTLIGHT
The disappointing dozen: Cars that fail to measure up Sloppy handling and noisy engines are common among these poor performers.
MATTRESS REVIEWS
Big-box bonanza: 12 ways to save even more at Costco Our savvy team shows you how to spot the bargains at the warehouse club.
GAS GRILL REVIEWS
10 great gas grills for $300 or less and where to find them Find deals on models that performed better than grills that cost over $1,000.
NEW CAR BUYING GUIDE
Act fast: The best deals on small cars expire soon The incentives can cut the price of a car by up to 20 percent.
BOOST THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME
8 tips to help you sell your home on your own Selling your own home requires time, energy, market knowledge, and more.
TV REVIEWS
5 small HDTVs from 2014 are good bargains in 2015 These 32-inch or smaller TVs are great choices for bedrooms or home offices.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more