The past week at The Pandora X offices has been one pivoted on implementing steps to effectively push positive environmental change. The entire team partook in the usage of reusable cutlery instead of plastic cutlery which unbeknown to many has a massive negative environmental impact across all spectrums.
Plastic cutlery is used around the world by restaurants, food service businesses and non-dish washing college students to name a few. Unfortunately, however convenient plastic cutlery is, it wastes a lot of resources as it is rarely recycled.
The vast majority of plastic cutlery can’t be recycled. In the US alone 6% of all plastic waste is recycled. While within the European Union a mere 26% of its plastic trash is recycled. These shocking low figures do not come as a surprise. Most plastic cutlery is made from a type of plastic known as polystyrene1. Polystyrene is more commonly referred to as Styrofoam. Styrofoam that white cushioning material used as protective packaging and is made of expanded polystyrene beads. You’ll usually find it protecting packaged electrical goods such a new TV for example. Styrofoam is extremely difficult to recycle. Most local councils do even not offer Styrofoam recycling and thus meaning that plastic cutlery that is put into a recycling bin is usually just sorted out at the recycling facility and sent to a landfill.
Landfills are not designed to break down waste, only to store it. To make things worse, not all plastic trash stays on land. Much of the un-recycled plastics tend to drift out with the wind and land in obscure locations potentially causing harm to local flora and fauna. A large portion of the drifting plastics end up in the ocean, where it causes damages amounting to at least $13 billion (about 12.3 billion euros) per year.
Garbage in a landfill does decompose, albeit slowly and in a sealed, oxygen-free environment. Plastic waste is one of many types of wastes that take too long to decompose. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills.
When plastic cutlery is used it is primarily for convenience and not for reuse. By the team at Pandora Care completely avoiding the use of plastic cutlery we cut short the process of creating a single use item again and again - resulting in no solid waste being created and effectively reducing our carbon footprint. A Chinese proverb says “The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones”. The steps the Pandora X Team have taken will ultimately result in a better, cleaner and lower carbon footprint future.