Isn’t It Time We Stopped Using Plastic Single-Use Utensils?

BiodegradablePlasticUtensils1 US Dept. of Agriculture Public Domain (Custom)

Biodegradeable plastic, Photo: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Public Domain

Isn’t It Time We Stopped Using Plastic Single-Use Utensils?

By Kelly Dean

There are smart things and there are dumb things. Sometimes, it takes a while for us to realize something is dumb: perhaps days, months or even years.

After watching too many videos of plastic junk being pulled out of animals’ bellies and orifices, I think it’s time to re-think convenience plastic – those simple one-use items we can really do without.

fast-food openclipart.org (Custom)

Image: OpenClipArt.org, Public Domain

Plastic utensils are just a fast-food contrivance for our perceived convenience. In sit-down restaurants and at home, we use metal utensils and re-use them over and over for years. They can be recycled, eventually.

Here’s some ideas:

  • If you eat fast food, use your fingers, because most fast foods are designed to be eaten this way anyway (pizza, sandwiches, burgers, french fries, etc.)
  • Try not to patronize places that use Styrofoam clam shells for carryout; many recyclers won’t take them
  • Choose paper-boxed or paper-wrapped carryout at home and use your own metal utensils. Dispose of wrappers appropriately
  • Drink from the rim of the paper cup with no lid or straw as we are taught as a child. Straws and lids are completely unnecessary, unless we’re driving. But eating while driving is dangerous and encourages roadside littering
  • Reuse everything as much as you can and as many times as you can
  • Dispose of plastic-strapped bags at recycling locations, such as grocery stores
  • Self-ban single-use plastics near streams, rivers, lakes, bays, oceans and wildlife areas — mostly for restaurants
  • Encourage adoption of biodegradable plastics (see above)
Sea_Turtle NASA (Custom)

Photo: NASA, Public Domain

This is really simple stuff that doesn’t take much effort.

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