Food & dining

Recycled plastic now plates, cups

Disposable tableware may be handy for summer, but they generate needless waste. The Waltham company Preserve tackles the problem by producing reusable plastic plates, tumblers, and cutlery, which are created from recycled No. 5 polypropylene plastic items that often end up in a landfill, such as yogurt containers, butter tubs, even Brita filters and Burt’s Bees lip balm tubes. Microwave and dishwater safe, Preserve tableware comes in bright green, orange, and red (4 dinner plates for $8; 4 tumblers for $8; 8 sets of heavy-duty cutlery, $5.50). Founder Eric Hudson, 51, started the company in 1996 because he found a shortage of items created from recycled materials; his first product was a toothbrush. “I grew up in the Berkshires and have always had strong environmental roots,” says the entrepreneur, who partners with Stonyfield Organic and other companies, to collect surplus containers. Preserve also makes colanders, mixing bowls, cutting boards, measuring cups, and food storage containers in festive colors, all with a lighter footprint. Preserve products available at MGH General Store & Flower Shop, 55 Fruit St., Boston, 617-726-2227; Debra’s Natural Gourmet, 98 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, 978-371-7573; Kitchen Outfitters, 342 Great Road, Acton, 978-263-1955; Duck Soup, 365 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, 978-443-3825; or go to