The benefits of reusable cutlery

Hi there, Tanita here with a short blog post on the topic of reusable cutlery. I think we have all been in the position where we have bought a sandwich, salad or soup to take away and have been given plastic cutlery to use. Cafés encourage us to take their disposable plastic cutlery and then put it in the bin. Some plastic cutlery can be recycled, but there is not always an option to do this. There is also the issue of food contamination which means that if you don’t wash the fork, spoon or knife before putting it into the recycling bin in a café it may be rejected and not recycled.

And consider the energy and resources it takes to make all that plastic cutlery in the first place, as well as the cost – this could be saved if we used our own cutlery. Why produce thousands of plastic spoons, forks and knives that do not need to be used in the first place? How often have you taken the plastic cutlery from a café home and used it again? I for one can say that I have not done this. However, there is a solution – reusable cutlery!

We are now used to taking refillable bottles to the gym and taking reusable bags to the supermarket (even if it is just to avoid the 5p charge!) but it is still rare for people to take their own cutlery with them to shops and to work.

Flask of soup and metal spoon

So why not get organised and carry some reusable cutlery with you in your pocket or bag? This means you can politely decline plastic cutlery from shops and take away restaurants, saving valuable resources and looking after the environment. The Kitchn has a top ten of reusable utensil sets that shows different styles of reusable cutlery. Eva, who blogs at Earth Living Earth Loving takes a set of bamboo cutlery with her every day. So if you are buying a soup and salad then you can leave the plastic utensils and use your own!

Once you have your own cutlery, you might be surprised at how often you use it – it is useful in a variety of settings such as take away lunches, camping, and so on. If you don’t fancy carrying round a full set of cutlery, get a spork. This is a spoon and a fork combined, suitable for eating most things and available from camping shops for just a couple of pounds.

Get the family involved too – there are some great ideas on the Child Parenting website for kids’ packed lunch boxes, including reusable cutlery, stainless steel containers and reusable bags for fruit and nuts. These are environmentally friendly choices that encourage children not to get into the habit of throwing their bags, cutlery and packaging away.

So next time, the cashier offers you a reusable spoon or cutlery, think twice and take out your own instead!

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