Single-use Utensils (compostable)

Cafes, food hubs, coffee bars and snack kitchens offer compostable single-use forks, spoons and knives. These small wares are compostable in a commercial compost facility.

Reduction Potential: Medium-High

Material Definition

Single-use plastic utensils made of various other polymers designed to compost such as potato starch, sugarcane, cornstarch and hemp. Utensils must be easily marked as “Compostable” to be included in this category – such markings include a hole in the middle or the word Compostable clearly included on the utensil.


Transition to bulk snack canteen service. Eliminate individually packaged snacks.

Additional pilots are being conducted.

Examples from Audit

Transition to reusable steel flatware where dishwashing service is available.


Transition to washable steel flatware where dishwashing service is available.  Reducing disposable flatware will likely be easier in some venues than others. For example, cafes already have dishwashing capacity and most diners eat in the cafe, making disposable flatware easier to eliminate.  Setting up dish drops in satellite snack kitchens enables cafe guests to take reusable utensils to go.  

Similar to bring-you-own-bottle efforts, another possible direction is to persuade employees to carry their own personal flatware set, enabling a reusable, washable utensil option anywhere.