by By Hunter R. Slaton | October 01, 2009

1009SC UtensilDon't be surprised if tableware turns out to be a hot topic at the Professional Convention Management Association's annual meeting in Dallas this January. As of that month, the Dallas Convention Center, in conjunction with contracted caterer Centerplate, will switch to 100 percent biodegradable, disposable food-service items.

Attendees will use disposable cutlery made from potato starch; corn-based beer and soda cups; plates, bowls and to-go containers derived from plant-based pulp such as sugarcane; and hot-beverage cups lined with plant-based plastic. Even trash cans will have compostable liners.

The best part: This green initiative won't cost planners extra greenbacks. Projected 2010 F&B package pricing at the Dallas Convention Center is at or below the industry average for year-over-year cost increases, say officials.

Going forward, Des Hague, president and CEO of Centerplate, says his company is working with suppliers to provide biodegradable food-service items for all venue clients.