Washing the dishes is a much hated chore. But the rise of disposable dishes, eating utensils and cups comes with a different kind of cost. The process of making these use-once-and-toss items is no simple feat, and at times can use up more resources than the food you’re using them to eat.
So, what goes into that plastic spoon? A new video from Greenpeace tells the story from the very, very beginning:
It's a compelling case against disposable tableware. And this short film doesn’t tell the next chapter of the story—what happens to plastic cutlery when it get thrown in the garbage. These items are often so cheap to the consumer that they’re often free, but discarded plastics make up nearly 18 percent of all the garbage produced in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s not counting the items that get recycled, nor the stuff that never makes it to the landfill, and instead ends up as litter or ocean pollution.
“We buy stuff for its convenience without realising that its production and destruction are not convenient at all,” writes Arin de Hoog on the Greenpeace blog. “The Story of a Spoon is an appeal for people to stop racing down the aisles.”
Yes, that means more dishes if disposables are something you buy to use around the house or office. Or if you only encounter single-use items when eating on the or getting takeout, you can make a difference by refusing the free plastic. So, if you’ve already started toting around your sleek stainless steel water bottle, or your stylish insulated glass coffee thermos, why not also toss a metal spoon into your bag as well?