Plastic cutlery is a major contributor to the growing plastic waste crisis. An estimated 40 billion plastic utensils are used and thrown away each year in the United States alone. But, Narayana Peesapaty the founder and directing manager of Bakey's, an Indian cutlery company, has a possible solution—spoons and forks you can eat.
His edible cutlery is made from millet, rice and wheat flours and was the first of its kind when it was developed in 2010. Today, Peesapaty is one of several players in the edible cutlery game, a burgeoning niche that's created buzz among consumers but received lukewarm reception from environmentalists.
Peesapaty said he was inspired to create the product while watching his country's plastic problem mount and the use of plastic utensils become more routine. It's estimated that India discards about 120 billion pieces of disposable plastic utensils each year. He said he was also concerned about the health effects of plastic utensils, given that research had found that chemical components in plastic products can leach into food.
The vegan edibles come in three different flavours — plain, sweet, and spicy — and have a shelf life of about three years. If users don't feel compelled to eat their cutlery at the end of their meal, the spoons and forks will naturally decompose within four to five days — if they're not eaten by an animal first. But the edible cutlery cannot be reused.
- A rough estimate of 40 billion plastic spoons and forks are being used and thrown around the world each year.
- The edible cutlery was first conceptualized by Peesapaty.
- What does the phrase "received lukewarm reception from environmentalists" mean?
- What inspired Peesapaty to produce edible cutlery?
- The edible cutlery can last up to .
- What's one disadvantage of the edible cutlery against plastic ones?