Our Why

Have you ever attended a meeting, conference, or cookout where food was offered? How was it served? Were single-use plastic cups, plates, and utensils involved?

I bet they were.

Here’s a scary statistic.

We use and throw away six million tons of single-use plastics every year in the US.

Six million tons! How is that even possible?!

Here’s another scary statistic.

Only 9% of these single-use plastics get recycled. This means, the remaining 81% is going to landfills or the ocean.

In the landfills, these plastics are sealed off and become inaccessible to us as resources.

They will no longer be part of the “circle of life.”

(Unless, of course, we dig through the landfill and extract them out again. But who wants to do that??? And even if we did, recycling plastics is not as straightforward as recycling metals or glass.)

In the ocean, single use plastics wreak havoc. Fish mistake the plastic for food and eat it—usually dying of malnutrition as a result.

So, how do you host environmentally responsible events without using single-use plastic cups, plates, and utensils?

Yes, you could rent re-usable dishes and utensils from a catering place.

Yes, you could purchase some compostable cups, plates, and utensils.


You can borrow beautiful, eclectic, re-usable dishes from the Austin Dish Lending Library.

Corporate events, family parties, dinners, BBQs… The library is here for you!

We provide re-usable dishes, utensils, glassware, and a variety of other items.

The idea is simple.

Check out our collection.

Tell us what you need.

Borrow the dishes.

Have an awesome event.

Wash and return the clean dishes to the library for the next person to use.

Feel amazing that you helped save the planet, one dish at a time.

P.S. Did you know that borrowing dishes from the library helps the City of Austin achieve its goal to be a zero waste city by 2040!