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Is Edible Cutlery A Leading Solution to End Single-Use Plastic Cutlery?

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Plastic pollution remains one of the most talked-about environmental issues nowadays. One of the many sources of plastic pollution is plastic cutlery. Although we have used plastic cutlery for events, parties, or traveling, most people don’t realize that it can take up to 1,000 years to break down while leaking harmful chemicals in the process [1].


Edible cutlery, on the other hand, is completely biodegradable. The question is: is it the solution to one of the major contributors to the growing plastic waste crisis?

Read also: The Cost of Our Throwaway Culture

What is edible cutlery?

Edible cutlery is completely biodegradable, but is it a viable solution?

Source: Posist [8]


Edible cutlery is made of safe-to-eat-ingredients. For example, Bakeys edible cutlery is made of rice, wheat and sorghum, which means it is also vegan-friendly. It comes in three different flavors: plain, sweet and spicy. If users are not keen on the idea of eating their cutlery at the end of their meals, then it will naturally decompose within four to five days [2].


According to Narayana Peesapaty, the founder and directing manager of Bakeys, his edible cutlery can also be a healthier alternative to plastic cutlery since the latter contains chemicals with carcinogenic and neurotoxic properties which can leach into our meals [3].


The edible cutlery game has become a burgeoning niche. Evidently, some local artisans in Indonesia have also entered the market, such as CV Yant Sorghum.


CV Yant Sorghum is based in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. It produces a range of products made of sorghum, such as cookies, rice and edible cutlery which they sell online and offline.


The enterprise also runs with the concept of farmer corporation, which aims to improve farmer welfare by providing an added value to their agricultural products and increase their bargaining power in the market as a result [4].

Read also: Zero Waste On-the-Go: The Ultimate Guide for Your Kit

The problem with edible cutlery


Edible cutlery has generated buzz among consumers, but Bakeys still finds it challenging to encourage consumers to make the switch. A lot of people are just not interested, because when it comes to our most mundane consumer choices, we can be slow to change our old behavior of using plastic cutlery [5].


Edible cutlery has also received lukewarm reception from environmentalists. "I think the edible cutlery is a fun idea; it really shows that there are innovative and creative solutions to single-use plastic, said Emily Alfred, the waste campaigner at the Toronto Environmental Alliance, "but I don't think it is enough”[6].


The main issue with edible cutlery is it is another single-use product which uses a lot of resources and energy to produce. There is also a risk that edible cutlery has higher planet-warming effects when it decomposes in landfills since it generates methane gas, which is more potent than CO2 [7].



Whether you are for or against edible cutlery, it’s heartwarming to see how more people are joining hands in finding a solution to plastic pollution. So while that very solution is still underway, what we can do is limit our plastic consumption and in this case, start bringing your own cutlery from home.

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Source(s):

[1] https://earth911.com/home-garden/eco-friendly-plastic-utensil-alternatives/

[2]https://www.foodunfolded.com/article/5-reasons-to-use-edible-utensils-a-plastic-alternative

[3] https://www.brightvibes.com/1033/en/edible-cutlery-the-future-of-eco-friendly-utensils

[4]https://finance.detik.com/berita-ekonomi-bisnis/d-4344038/budidaya-sorghum-di-ntb-ini-dikelola-lewat-skema-korporasi-petani

[5] https://www.americansorghum.com/can-edible-spoon-save-world/

[6] https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/bakeys-edible-cutlery-1.4763171

[7]https://www.capradio.org/articles/2015/02/17/is-compostable-cutlery-really-breaking-down/


Photo(s):

[8]https://www.posist.com/restaurant-times/features/spoons-can-change-way-think-eat-food.html

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