Is Ceramic Pottery Sustainable?
Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of how their lifestyle choices impact the environment in which they live.
We’re constructing “greener” buildings, demanding more sustainable production methods, and standing up against environmentally harmful practices that have become the norm.
While we know of the environmental impact of lab-created materials like polystyrene and PVC, what about one of the oldest hand-made products in history: pottery?
Let’s discuss some of the factors that influence sustainability and how stoneware, earthenware, and porcelain measure up.
What makes a product environmentally sustainable?
A product is considered sustainable if the process used to source, manufacture, distribute, and dispose of it could go on indefinitely with little negative impact on the environment.
While it is difficult for any consumer product to be 100% sustainable, producers can take steps to be more environmentally-friendly throughout their manufacturing process.
Some factors of consumer product sustainability include:
- Resources Used
- Methods of Production
- Waste Created
Ceramics have changed very little since the invention of the wheel in 3,500 BCE.
One thing that has changed since ancient times is that we have been able to make ceramics even more durable and versatile.
When evaluating the sustainability of ceramic dinnerware and home decor like the collections we offer at Euro Ceramica, we must ask ourselves the following questions:
How is the material sourced?
One of the best qualities about ceramics is that they are truly a natural product. Ceramics all start with clay, which is a naturally malleable material composed of minerals and water.
Some types of clay include:
-Kaolin or china clay (for porcelain)-Ball clay (fine-grained, adds plasticity to porcelain clay)-Fire clay (highly heat-resistant)-Stoneware clay (heat resistant with finer grains)-Red clay (used for bricks)
Source material is a key component to determine the sustainability of any consumer product. Natural mineral clay is an excellent resource for creating beautiful, safe and sustainable pieces you can feel good about using in your home.
Are the glazes safe?
One of the biggest concerns when choosing a sustainable product is whether it is safe for you and your family to use.
We source our gorgeous handmade pieces from artists in Europe and Asia, and we want you to be sure that you and your family are getting the best and safest products.
We are proud to announce that all of our glazes are food-safe, lead-free and California Proposition 65 compliant. One of the reasons this proposition was approved was to decrease consumer exposure to chemicals known to cause dangerous health problems.
No product can be considered sustainable if using it could make you sick! When choosing your next dining set or decorative piece, make sure you turn to a company that holds itself to the highest standards of product safety. Visit Euro Ceramica to shop all of our collections.
How is it made?
At Euro Ceramica, our products are truly handmade. Local craftspeople in Europe and Asia use traditional methods to create each piece by hand.
When you take a look inside our workshops, you won’t find robot-operated conveyor belts churning out identical pieces at breakneck speed—instead you’ll find skilled craftspeople creating beautiful, handmade pieces for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.
Is it durable?
One of the trends receiving the most attention regarding sustainability right now is the reduction of single-use disposable products.
If you’re looking for durability and longevity in a sustainable product, you can’t beat ceramics. They can last for centuries! In fact, archaeologists use unearthed fragments of pottery to piece together information about the people who once used them.
The durability of a piece comes down to its composition and care. The three main types of ceramics for housewares are:
Earthenware: Fired at low temp, most brittle, porous unless glazed.Stoneware: Fired at 1200 degrees C, hard and waterproof.Porcelain: Fired between 1200-1450 degrees C, extremely hard and durable.
As you can see, the durability of ceramics increases based on the materials used and the temperature at which they are fired.
The care and keeping of your handmade pieces will go a long way in providing extra longevity. Using the lightest dishwasher setting, allowing your dishes to dry completely before storing, and using gentle dishwasher detergents are all great ways to keep your Euro Ceramica pieces in exquisite condition.
If you’re looking for an ultra-durable dish set that you can use every day, we invite you to check out our White Essential Collection.
This true-white porcelain collection is elegant and refined. It’s oven, microwave and dishwasher-safe and considered professional grade. These pieces are highly fade and scratch resistant and their timeless style means you can enjoy them for years to come.
The Verdict: Are Stoneware, Earthenware, and Porcelain Sustainable?
Ceramic dinnerware and home decor like the collections we offer at Euro Ceramica are great products to add to any eco-friendly home.
The mineral bodies in ceramic clay are abundant and sourced from the earth. They create products that, when fired, can last a lifetime or longer. Both natural and food-safe, ceramic dinnerware is significantly more sustainable than plastics which can actually leach toxins into the food we eat!
Euro Ceramica offers elegant pieces which are made using sustainable production methods with respect for both the environment and the artists who create them. They do not contain harmful chemicals like cadmium or lead. Our stoneware and porcelain pieces are safe to place in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. When properly cared for, they can be used indefinitely.
All of these factors contribute to the overall sustainability of our products. We appreciate that our customers are conscious of product safety and their environmental footprint and we will continue to introduce our collections with these needs in mind.