Biodegradable cups and spoons are becoming more popular than ever due to their environmental benefits. They can be thrown away without as much worry as traditional plastic because they compost over time. Frozen yogurt shops and ice cream parlors often provide biodegradable custom printed cups with their company logo.
While their biodegradable nature may make it seem like these cups will break down or even leech chemicals into food, they are safe to reuse several times after washing. They are now often made with corn rather than petroleum. Nevertheless, it is best to keep them out of the dishwasher; they aren’t made to withstand heavy wash cycles. According to Gelato Products, it’s also best to avoid soaps and detergents, as they can begin the breakdown of the ingredients used in the manufacturing process. Depending on the brand, some cups can survive even in boiling water while others recommend keeping the cups away from anything over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is best to wash them only with warm water and keep them out of the microwave.
The tasting spoons provided with the cups are also now likely to be made of similar corn-based ingredients. They can generally stand temperatures around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is best to follow the same cleaning guidelines as the cups: hand wash them in warm water without soap.
While it may be tempting to include the colored plastic spoons in lunchboxes, remember that all plastic utensils break down rather quickly. Only reuse them a handful of times.