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Wooden Serving Trays: An Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic

DISCLAIMER: The images in this post are for informational purposes to illustrate potential possibilities, recognizing that individual tastes vary. We aim to capture your wants and needs, expanding on each style where possible to offer a range of available tables from reputable designers and affiliated brands. This selection process considers a variety of factors to ensure we cater to the diverse preferences of our readers.

There’s something beautiful about enjoying a meal at the dinner table with family or friends, but sometimes you just need to kick back with dinner in front of the TV. What’s better for carrying those meals than a nice selection of wooden serving trays? That’s not all these trays are suitable for either, with a nice wooden serving tray working as a remarkable piece of table decor, an organizer for other decorative elements, or just for serving coffee up for friends. They’re especially great for getting pieces together in small dining rooms.

But why not just choose one of the many plastic serving trays on the market? In the war of wood vs plastic, why is wood king? Why are the best serving trays made from wood? We’ve put together this blog to explain five of our top reasons why wooden trays are a better choice for your home decor so you can buy your own set with the confidence that you’re making the right choice.

Round Wood Serving Trays by DeCasa Collections

Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash

Wooden Serving Tray: Durable and Long-Lasting

You may think this is a misguided point, as the undegradable nature of a plastic tray surely means that it will last longer than a piece of wood, and in a sense, you’re correct, but not in practice. While plastic will eventually sit in landfills for much longer than a wooden tray will, you’ll almost definitely get a lot more use out of a nice slab of wood than a piece of plastic.

Wooden dinner trays are generally made with a degree of thickness and structural integrity, which makes them a firm, durable, and long-lasting purchase that you can use for years to come. They’re generally made very thick, either water-resistant naturally or as a result of treatments, meaning they stay in good condition for a long time. On the other hand, plastic trays, while inexpensive, only need to be dropped once before breaking apart and being rendered useless, also potentially morphing and becoming misshapen from hot water washing.

They’re Cleaner & Safer

Another primary reason for choosing a wood serving tray over something made from plastic is its cleanliness and bacterial safety. Over the years, you’ve probably seen a formerly clean and pristine plastic tray start to pick up mold, mildew, and odd stains due to daily usage, and this is because plastic surfaces offer a suitable surface on which bacteria can form and thrive. Wood, particularly hardwoods and bamboo, is much less likely to become the home for disease-causing bacteria and germs. Most woods have a natural capacity to fight off and kill germs, especially the more natural and even treatment-based water-resistant materials. This means you can expect to use your wooden trays more freely and for longer without coming into contact with icky mold and muck.

Wooden Bathroom Tray by DeCasa Collections

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Wooden Serving Tray: Much Better Looking

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing pieces of home decor is the visual profile of the items, and wood is going to look better than plastic nine times out of ten (or more!). That’s not to say that plastic trays can’t have lovely designs, and many of them do, but the aesthetics of a cold, rigid piece of plastic simply can’t compete with the beautiful intricacies that come with natural wood grain. Neutral tones such as wood are very much on trend at the moment, and while plastic can be colored to fit the look of the day, there’s a timeless quality to wood. Along with this, the craftsmanship is far more present in wooden trays when compared with plastic items, which feel more clinical and mass-produced than wooden items that can feel handcrafted, even when coming from production lines. Also, being a natural material, they have some biophilic appeal.

Related Article: How To Incorporate Biophilic Design Into Your Home

Decorative Wooden Tray by DeCasa Collections

Photo by Suhyeon Choi from Unsplash

Insight – Wood trays are safer: The cleanliness associated with wooden trays is more than just an aesthetic thing; actually making the serving of food and drinks safer in a bacterial sense.

Wood is Far More Versatile

In both a visual and a practical sense, wooden serving trays fit into more home situations. They’re generally much sturdier and thicker than plastic alternatives, meaning they’re better for holding larger, heavier loads of food, drinks, and decor, feeling less likely to wobble and topple over on those crucial moments of transportation. Carrying in a bunch of coffees on a plastic serving tray often feels like tempting fate. When it comes to their look, wooden trays can sit as nicely on coffee tables and mantlepieces as on your lap as TV dinner trays. On the other hand (or lap), plastic trays have a purely functional look and feel that doesn’t work as nicely in different parts of the house when they’re not being used for their immediate purpose.

Wooden Tray Decor by DeCasa Collections

Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Insight – Wood is an investment: A good wooden tray will likely set you back a little bit more money than a plastic tray, but for all the reasons we’ve described, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Wooden Serving Tray: More Environmentally Friendly Material

Finally, when comparing wood and plastic, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the apparent environmental factor. Of course, wood has to come as a result of logging, which isn’t great for the planet, but at least it’s a renewable resource that is relatively sustainable if harvested responsibly. Bamboo, for example, is the most renewable resource on earth. Plastic is made from crude oil in one of the most greenhouse gas-intensive processes of any consumer industry, along with plastic itself often finding its way into landfills and even the sea. While a broken plastic tray might be recyclable, you can trust that wood is still a more eco-friendly choice. 

Round Plant Decor by DeCasa Collections

Photo by Toni Cuenca Pexels

Insight – Wood is natural: Natural materials have the quality of being both on-trend and timeless, with wood, wicker, and stone having a place in homes of varying styles and designs.

Final Thoughts

If you want to leave your old home decor behind, a lovely set of wooden trays could be a good place to start! Wood simply has too many advantages over plastic to ignore, with the fact that it looks better being backed up by a plethora of practical edges. Safer, longer-lasting, and perhaps most importantly, more environmentally friendly, we don’t see any competition here. Remember, this is just our opinion, so if you prefer plastic, that’s fine; we’re just here to help.


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