Paper Plates Are Greener Than Plastic Plates June 8, 2018 Email Despite being made out of trees, paper plates are better for the environment than plastic plates. Plastic never biodegrades, so it will stay in the environment as plastic — or microplastic — forever. Paper, on the other hand, will biodegrade. Neither option is better than using reusable dishes. Washable dishes create far less waste and pollution than paper or plastic.