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What are the Pros and Cons of Plastic Charger Plates?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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Plastic charger plates are usually lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to clean and maintain. They are available in various styles, from assorted solid colors to eclectic prints, as well as different shapes, such as round, triangular and square. Even though their color varieties complement most china patterns, they are rarely an exact match. While plastic charger plates can be quite durable, they do not always last as long as the more expensive ones. The quality also is not as fine as porcelain, and the lacquer or paint may chip away or darken in spots over time.

Since plastic charger plates are generally less expensive than glass or porcelain, they are easy to replace in case any of them become damaged. It is also cost effective to own more than one set, or several sets, to coordinate with various table settings. Plastic charger plates with a metallic finish, such as silver, bronze and gold are usually available for under $5 US Dollars (USD) each. In some cases, the price is even lower. In contrast, metal show plates can cost three times that amount, if not more.

Some people use charger plates in their homes to create an elegant dinner setting, especially when they entertain often. If a person is looking to add to his china collection, he may be better off investing in high-quality chargers that coordinate with his existing pattern. Finer show plates last longer because the material quality is generally superior to plastic.

For weddings and special events, it may be more economical to purchase or rent plastic charger plates to save money. Thanks to the many color options available, such as crimson red, cobalt blue, amber, gold and silver, in addition to a multitude of other colors, plastic chargers can add elegance to the table decor, coordinate with the centerpieces, and enhance the overall look of the event without exceeding the budget. There also is no worry of the chargers getting broken.

Themes are also popular for corporate events and bar mitzvahs, and many times, an elegant dinner is on the agenda for these types of functions. Plastic charger plates can be rented or purchased for a fraction of the cost of metal or porcelain ones, enhancing the theme of an event. Thanks to the many prints available, such as leopard patterns, geometric shapes and other fun options, plastic charger plates can be used to emphasize a decor motif while adding elegance to the overall appearance of the tables.

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Discussion Comments
By jonrss — On Nov 25, 2011

For a while right after college I used plastic charger as my only plates. I'm not sure where they came from but they worked out all right. They looked weird, sure, but they held food as well as anything else.

I think most of us probably have things like this from our twenties. You make do with what you can. You are not worried so much about appearances, you are just trying to get by and probably thinking more about having a good time.

By chivebasil — On Nov 25, 2011

The only time I ever really use charges is at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Still, I think they give a nice look to my place setting and they help to distinguish the meal as something special.

I don't mind using them so rarely because I bought a set of plastic gold colored charger plates for really cheap. I think the whole set cost me less than 10 dollars.

Even though they are plastic they look elegant and not at all out of place with the porcelain plates. I keep them at the back of a cabinet until I need them and they never wear out.

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