Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Single-use cutleries, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. We produce tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It is estimated that close to 40 billion individual plastic utensils—meaning 14 and 18 billion plastic spoons—are produced each year, and with such low rates of reuse and recycling, most of them end up in our landfills, beaches and oceans. They are likely to remain there for centuries! Littered plastics are also harmful to animals because they occasionally eat them and die.
Most of the single use plastics are non recyclable and even if their grade of plastic is accepted for recycling, they cannot be recycled because of food contamination, hence sent to landfill. With over 18.8 million tones of house hold waste each year the landfill sites are running at peak capacities, alternatively they are incinerated. Incineration is not entirely eco-friendly process as government claims. Burning plastic leads to emission of toxic gases and this process does not eliminate thrash completely, as an example: 10 tones of trash leaves 1 ton residue post incineration. Residue aspect of incineration is not addressed.
There are solutions at hand. With a growing awareness more options are available.
Few ideas to avoid single use cutlery or tableware –
- Use Biodegradable and compostable tableware and cutlery. If you are a person who hosts parties often, looking at buying in bulk.
- Look for options to hire cutlery and crockery when organizing a party.
- If you are being invited to a party or get together where single use plastics are used, carry your own reusable cutlery.
- Buy a reusable cutlery set. They can be used in parties, get together and even flight journeys
- Most importantly, voice out to every friend family, communities, event organizers and organizations to ditch single use plastics.
Don’t wait for your government to ban single use plastics, make the change now!
Where you can hire?
(Waitrose does lend glasses for free)
Websites to look for biodegradable cutlery
Amazon and Ebay do have some eco options which are pocket friendly