When you talk about dinnerware, the first thing that comes to mind is china or porcelain. These are the most common types of dinnerware that are available. However, over the years, other materials have been developed to be used as a main component in creating dinnerware. One of which is melamine.
It is a unique material that is generally more durable but is also a lot lighter than ordinary china. It has become a more practical option, especially for those who are in the food business, because it eliminates the hassle of having broken plates.
Since it is a lot more durable than other types of dinnerware, you won’t have to worry about constantly replacing broken dinnerware. It is also easier to carry around on large trays even when loaded with plates of food because it is lighter. Another good thing about it is that it can easily be made in a variety of styles and patterns.
But what exactly is melamine dinnerware?
Well, it’s a type of hard plastic compound which is a product of the combination of melamine resin and other strengthening material. This is why it is a lot more durable than other forms of dinnerware.
Is it Safe?
There has been quite a controversy around melamine since some people claim that it poses a risk for people’s health. But what people need to understand is that the dinnerware made from melamine needs to be checked by the FDA as well. If it doesn’t pass the safety standards, then it shouldn’t be sold in the market.
Popular melamine dinnerware manufacturers produce plates and other pieces made of melamine and they make sure that they’re 100% BPA-free. BPA or Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound present in poorly manufactured melamine dinnerware which has a negative impact on people’s health.
This is why it is very important that if you’re interested in buying melamine dinnerware, be sure to get it only from trusted manufacturers. That way, you can guarantee that the products went through strict quality assurance testing and it is indeed safe for use.
Durability of Melamine Dinnerware
The thing about melamine products is that they can withstand high temperatures. However, it is not recommended to heat them while in contact with food. It is very durable as well and is extremely hard to break.
Melamine, however, is still prone to chipping and, in some extreme instances, can also be broken. But unlike regular dinnerware, it does not shatter when it breaks. And it is also scratch-resistant so it is not easily damaged by scratching and chipping.
Uses for Melamine Dinnerware
Melamine is relatively lighter, cheaper, and more durable than the regular, expensive porcelain or china; which is why it has more applications. It is usually used for commercial settings, such as small restaurants and food stalls.
It’s also more practical to use in barbecue shacks, picnics, and beach outings. Simpler and cheaper melamine dinnerware is used for these purposes. But there are also high-quality melamine plates, cups, bowls, and saucers that are handcrafted and are particularly designed with an up-scaled quality.
Is Melamine Recyclable?
One swift look at the properties of melamine ware, you can easily infer that its features are too good to be true. Well, considering all of its properties, melamine ware is indeed very practical to use. However, it also has a few drawbacks. One of which is the fact that it can’t be recycled. Melamine is a Class 7 Plastic and it cannot be melted and recycled just like other plastics.
Recently, though, there are innovations that allow the recycling of plastics like melamine. By mixing it with bamboo, this new material can now be degraded through biological means. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t alter its impressive properties. The newly developed product is still lightweight, durable, and affordable.
How to Care for Melamine Ware
Melamine, as mentioned above, is a relatively durable and long-lasting type of dinnerware. But in order to maximize its lifespan even more, you must observe the proper ways to care for melamine dinner ware.
For example, you can’t use serrated knives on plates made from melamine. It can’t be used in the microwave oven as well. And it needs a good quality pre-soak dishwashing soap to easily remove some stubborn grease and dirt on it.