Throughout my days, I use a lot of plastic. I use plastic all day everyday and a lot of it is disposable so after I use it once, I throw it away. The main focus I’m going to talk about today is plastic utensils. Being at college, the dining hall food isn’t the best. My roommates and I go to the grocery store about two times a month and we use plastic utensils in our dorm room because it’s the most convenient thing to do for us. Plastic utensils are usually made out of two different types of plastic, polypropylene and polystyrene. All plastics are made out of monomers and they go through a process called polymerization.
Plastic utensils are then usually put into big packs of spoons, knives, and forks and put into plastic boxes and distributed to grocery stores and such. I use the plastic utensils only to eat once so I’ll use them for about 15 minutes and then throw them away. There’s no other energy or maintenance needed to use this product other than eating food with it. Plastic utensils are usually not recyclable because of what they’re made out of which really is terrible for the environment. Even if you recycle them, they usually can’t be turned into anything else so you might as well throw them into the garbage. I throw them in the garbage anyways because in our room we only have a trash can and no recycling bin. Plastic utensils usually end up in landfills or in waterways so they’re extremely toxic towards the environment. They also can’t be recycled because they’re too contaminated, too lightweight, and just too small in general. There are some simple ways to lower the toxicity of plastic utensils. Simply don’t use them. Although it sounds so simple, plastic utensils are so convenient it takes a lot to not use them. When you’re eating on the go or simply don’t want to do dishes. There has been a trend going on for a while now about either bringing your own water bottle everywhere (ie. Hydroflask) or carrying your own metal straws every tp better the environment. I’m hoping it will because a trend to start taking your own metal cutlery everywhere but it is a big hassle and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
We are in control of it and it’s ultimately our decision if we want to usr plastic utensils or not. Some assumptions I made before looking more deeply into plastic utensils is that they are recyclable. They are in fact not recyclable and I will not be using them anymore. We do dishes sometimes and although they’re a hassle just knowing that they simply cannot be recycled is a big turnoff. Some uncertainties I still have is why haven’t we made plastic utensils that are easy to recycle? Plastic utensils are so prevalent in todays society and I’m surprised we haven’t found a better alternative.
I completely agree Sakshi! Our overuse of disposable utensils is a major problem. I feel as if we were able to find a alternative solution that was perhaps biodegradable then we would not have to worry about the food contamination; as they would just dissolve into the ground.
Living in college, using disposable items is more convenient so I totally agree. However, I also did not know that the type of plastic that is used to make the the utensils is not recyclable. I agree with Cole that perhaps if we can find sustainable solutions that are biodegradable to would help with everyones plastic footprint.