Plastic utensils have been around for decades and have become a staple in many households. We are used to them for day-to-day activities and the interesting part is most people don’t even realize how many plastic utensils they use in their regular lives.
Though they are durable and often cheaper than their metal or wooden counterparts, plastic utensils have several disadvantages. For one, they are not as environmentally friendly as other options. Plastic is made from oil, a non-renewable resource, and can take centuries to break down in the environment. industries are developing biodegradable plastic but significant developments in that field are still a dream. PLA plastic is a good example of biodegradable plastics’ successful applications and adoption.
This can lead to pollution and litter, especially in marine environments where plastic debris can harm or kill wildlife. Another downside to plastic utensils is that they can leach chemicals into food, especially when heated.
These chemicals can be harmful to human health, particularly for babies and young children whose bodies are still developing. Finally, plastic utensils are not as durable as other materials and are more likely to break or chip. This can be a safety hazard, as well as a nuisance.
PET Plastic and Expanded polystyrene are plastics that are extremely durable as well as applicable to different products, but again their disposition and recycling is a tough and lengthy task. After all, nothing is more important than the lives our dear ones.
Despite these drawbacks, plastic utensils are still a popular choice for many people. If you do choose to use them, be sure to recycle them when you’re done. Which is obviously, easier said than done.
As plastic utensils are not biodegradable. They’re also a leading cause of pollution. Every year, tons of plastic utensils end up in landfills, oceans, and other waterways. This is a major problem because plastic takes hundreds of years to break down. Polypropylene and ABS are said to be the most used and most difficult to recycle.
In the meantime, it can leach harmful chemicals into the environment. The good news is that there are some easy ways to reduce your reliance on plastic utensils. Here are a few tips:
- Use reusable utensils. There are plenty of reusable options available these days, including metal, bamboo, and glass. Whenever possible, use these instead of plastic.
- Say no to disposable utensils. If you’re offered plastic utensils, politely decline. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
- Bring your own utensils. Whenever you’re on the go, bring along a reusable fork, knife, and spoon. This way, you’ll never have to use plastic utensils.
I’m not all suggesting to completely shun plastics (coz I know its not possible in the day and age we live in) but some sincere efforts must be made from our side.