I absolutely loved the idea when I first read about it – edible spoons! How cool is that? Bakey’s, based in India and founded by Narayana Peesapaty, a former researcher, produces edible spoons in a bid to eliminate waste from plastic utensils.
It strikes a chord with me because each time I am made to use and dispose of a piece of plastic cutlery, I cringe and my heart skips a beat. Which is also why I hate buying takeaways and feel just miserable when I’m dining at the hawker centre but the stall provides only disposable plastic cutlery. Yes, to save on the washing up… seriously?
I did a quick search on Singapore’s plastic waste statistics on NEA’s website – we generated 824,600 tonnes of plastic waste in 2015, of which, only 7% was recycled. That is the weight equivalent of 450,000 cars we’re dumping into our landfills in one year. That’s slightly fewer than the total number of cars on our Singapore roads in 2015. Putting it into perspectives, we are basically dumping all our cars on the roads into landfills each year. Crazy, isn’t it?
And we, Singaporeans, have such an environmentally toxic habit of buying food take-aways. Which usually come in styrofoam lunch boxes accompanied by plastic cutlery (or wooden chopsticks). We use it out of convenience, to avoid dining in the heat with the lunch crowd. One pays maximum 30 cents extra for takeaway. Look around the CBD during lunch and you’ll see the bustling crowd, most of them holding on to a plastic bag with a takeaway box. We have 3.6 million people in the workforce today. If I estimate a conservative 20% of the people who buy takeaways multiplied by the number of working days a year (est. 20 days a month = 240 days), we discard 172,800,000 takeaway boxes in a year! That is not including the plastic cups that come with our GongCha’s and Koi’s.
Borrowing an image from ZeroWasteSG, this is literally how our dumps look like.
So, back to the topic on edible spoons – I think it is a great idea to be able to eat your cutlery. Even if you don’t fancy leaving each meal with the “last taste” of a cracker every meal, you can throw it away. And it’d be completely biodegradable – a landfill of biodegradable will empty itself.
Just in case you were worried about hygiene and perishability – these spoons have a shelf life of 2 years. Properly packed, I think we can keep the pests away. Anyway, I am certain things crawl upon our plastic cutlery and gnaw at our wooden chopsticks all the time.
Here’s a video about Bakey’s edible spoons. They’ve done very well on Kickstarter.com and seem to be running a production constraint until end of the year!