Is It Tacky To Use Plastic Silverware And Paper Plates?

Is it tacky to use plastic silverware and paper plates? Not necessarily any more. I would say if it's an informal outdoor gathering like a barbecue, it's fine. It is not tacky to use plastic silverware and...

It is not tacky to use plastic silverware and paper plates as long as you are not hosting a formal dinner, and for some types of parties it's not only a good idea, but encouraged as well. Formal dinners dictate that you need to bring out the good china and polish the silver, but for just about every other kind of dinner, paper plates and plastic ware are quite acceptable. Paper and plastic are especially recommended for outdoor parties where it can be much easier for glass to get broken. For outdoor parties, or events where people may be walking around while eating, make sure to have strong, durable plates that won't bend under the weight of food or blow away easily. Plates, napkins, and cups that match your theme can add a more festive feel to your special event.


Brian Hay, a chef and culinary instructor at Austin Community College and a sommelier who also teaches for the International Sommelier Guild, says, "I would say if it's an informal outdoor gathering like a barbecue, it's fine. If you take a look at a lot of the paper products that are out there now, they actually simulate china and you can be fooled by them. I know right now I can get some paper stuff that is so durable and so elegant you won't believe it. If it's a formal setting, use china. If it's something to be passed around, like an appetizer, and everyone knows it's an informal gathering, paper or plastic is fine."




Plastic ware is available in a wide assortment of colors, sizes, and durability. Paper plates can be found decorated for just about any special occasion, in a huge variety of colors, different sizes, different levels of durability, and decorated for many different kinds of themed parties too. You won't be able to find glass or china dishes for many themed parties without spending a fortune. When looking for paper and plastic dinner ware, you will be able to find platters, bowls, cups, serving utensils, even plastic wine and champagne glasses. Check at any party store or look for one on the internet.

Plastic ware and paper plates make clean up a snap, you don't have to worry about anything breaking, and it's relatively inexpensive. If you are hosting a dinner for more people than what you would normally have service for, it's much cheaper to buy paper and plastic than a whole new set of formal ware!

Hay says, "Keep it simple. The biggest problem with parties is that people try to do too much. Then the host is so busy trying to get all these elements done that they are too tired to enjoy themselves. Keep it simple and stay organized and have everything planned out. You will be working the party, but you will be able to sit down with the guests or talk with them and enjoy it. Keep it organized and keep it simple and everything else will fall into place."

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