Many boats come complete with a set of plastic dishes – as did ours. It seems that the general consensus is that because an item is on a boat it has a tendency to break and therefore should be plastic. Not so! Mike and I really don’t like to eat or drink from plastic as it seems to take on a taste after some time. We also try to use as little plastic in our lives as possible, so as not to further contribute to the plastic debris we find on every beach.
The first thing we gave away were the plastic plates and replaced them with our ceramic plates from when we lived on shore. No plastic taste and the plates keep food warm a lot longer than plastic plates do. Underway I toss a towel into the cupboard with the plates to stop things from shifting and rattling. When my parents and I sailed from Germany to California in the 80s we also used ceramic plates and my parents still use those same plates on their current boat to this day. Zero breakage.
Next we got rid of the plastic cups. We now use mason jars for drinking glasses which are very thick and sturdy. And used with these screw-top lids it’s like having a built-in storage container or drink-shaker.
We use real coffee mugs and for our wine we use real wine glasses. A glass of wine just isn’t the same drank out of a plastic cup. I have broken one wine glass out of sheer clumsiness – not due to living on a boat.
We did keep the plastic bowls to use when we are underway since they have non-skid bottoms and are nice and deep.
To store glass bottles and jars I use “6-pack wine bags”. They are about $2 from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or if you buy enough wine they will sometimes toss one in. I have about a dozen of these bags and store everything from wine and liquor bottles to jam and sauerkraut jars in them. There is no rattling and if anything should break the spillage will be contained within the bag.