I am tasked with finding a compostable takeout containers for a food festival that we can use to replace thousands of styrofoam takeout containers. There are a lot of issues with convincing the organizers to do it; the two primary concerns are cost, and the durability of the container once hot, moist food has been sitting in it for a while (say, up to 30 minutes while somebody is driving home). The durability of the containers we buy is going to affect both of these issues.
The two materials I have been looking at (online suppliers) so far are sugarcane or natural fiber, both of which are compostable. Some of them have "heavy duty" or "lined" versions, which would likely stand up better to food. However, they are also up to double the cost — and since expense is an argument against the compostable containers in the first place, needing to buy an even-more-expensive version will be a tougher sell.
How durable is a "standard" compostable container compared to a "heavy duty" compostable container?
(Or, are there materials beyond sugarcane or natural fiber which are more like plastic and therefore essentially water-proof? Would they still be able to stand up to hot food safely?)
I plan to get samples of the various options and plan to test this myself, but that takes some time and I would appreciate some ideas so I know which avenues to pursue.