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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Best Alternatives To Plastic Utensils And Their Health Benefits


Plastic is present in almost everything other thing we use and has become an indispensable part of life. Surely it is very difficult to eliminate the use of plastic completely from our lives. Plastic is used in the form of water bottles, food storage containers, one time use utensils and other products. Polypropylene and polystyrene are the two main types of plastic of which most disposable cutlery in takeaways and supermarkets are used and these two are the most problematic types of plastic as well.

Best Alternatives To Plastic Utensils


Before buying any plastic made product always remember that it is made of polluting and finite fossil fuels. Adding to this, even more fossil fuels are burned in production and distribution of these plastic made products. Freshwater is also used in the production of plastic. All of these things imply that using such disposable plastic cutlery and throwing them away is a big wasteful action that contributes to different types of pollution and global warming. Before buying the plastic utensils, always remember that it costs not only your money but plays a role in the climate crisis as well. This is because producing only one pound of plastic releases 2.5 lbs of CO2 and takes up to 78 liters of water. Both the mentioned forms of plastic from which the disposable cutlery is manufactured are very difficult to recycle and are expensive as well. The main issue in recycling them is their color and their size, which is very small. The structure is complex and contaminated when entering the waste stream.

There are many reasons which suggests that using plastic utensils can be really bad for health as well, because:

  • When you heat food in these plastic cutlery, several toxins (Oligomers) are produced which are harmful to the human body as well as the environment. These oligomers are very small and one might be eating them with their food. In case of high doses of these toxic substances, it causes liver and thyroid diseases, high cholesterol, cancer and infertility.
  • Eating hot food in these plastic cutleries can be harmful to health and when these cutleries are decomposed after dumping, the poisonous fumes are emitted from it causing serious human health problems.
  • Plastic cutlery hampers the taste of the food.
  • These plastic cutleries are very fragile and can break easily and if food is eaten in these damaged cutleries, various toxins can enter your food and then your body that are hazardous to health.
  • They are not heat resistant hence food cannot be cooked or it cannot be used in the microwave.
  • Not only the plastic cutlery but its production is also very harmful as benzene is formed during its manufacture which contains many dangerous chemicals like phthalates. Benzene is also a marked carcinogen.
  • As almost everyone knows, it is almost impossible to decompose the products of plastic like plastic cutlery. It can take around 20-500 years to decompose which is obviously a lot. Also these cutleries are made of polyethylene terephthalate which is almost indestructible that means much harder to decompose.

Implying to all the things above, now is the high time that we shift from plastic disposable cutlery to something better which is easy to dispose of and not harmful to the human body as well as our environment. This can be done by keeping the plastic out of the waste stream as much as possible. Let's give a look to some eco-friendly alternatives that are good for humans as well as marine life and our mother earth.

  1. Sugarcane made cutlery - These are the conventional form of cutlery that can help in erasing the demand of plastic cutlery from the market. This cutlery is prepared from extract remnants of sugarcane, i.e. bagesse. It is a disposable cutlery which decomposes within 80-90 days that they are very easy to dispose and decompose without harming the climate. Sugarcanes matures in just about 2 years, which reduces the high dependence on trees and also there is no need for oil which is used in plastic cutlery.
  2. Edible cutlery - Such cutlery is made from hygienic, best and healthy pulses, grains, millets that are very nutritious to mind, body and soul. Such products are biodegradable, conserve water as there is minimal water usage in production and zero wastage of any other natural resources. Edible cutlery is competitively sustainable and environmentally friendly. Such cutlery can be eaten after eating the food or consuming a drink.
  3. Cutlery which itself biodegrades into manure - This form of cutlery is prepared from plant oils, sugarcane or corn, animal fats, woodchips, straw, sawdust and even orange peels. These natural things are converted into PLA (Polylactide acid) which is a bioplastic. This resembles the traditional plastic but it is vegetable based renewable cutlery. Such cutlery breaks down itself regardless of the condition and there is no need for any industrial facilities for it.
  4. Recycle agriculture waste cutlery - Such cutlery is made from the agriculture waste like corn husk, pineapple crown, seeds and natural fibers. This cutlery is completely biodegradable and compostable as it is prepared from all the natural components. As there is the possibility of growing new plants, it reduces the environmental impact.
  5. Disposable tableware made of Up-Cycled Agricultural excess - This innovative cutlery is made by converting the raw materials into natural fibers which have self binding ability through a mechanical process. Bleaching or the energy intensive process of extraction of cellulose is not used in this raw material. Hence, the wastage of water and excessive use of chemicals is avoided in this production process.

We all need to rethink our choices about the things we use and buy as everything we use, other than having an effect on our body it also affects the environment around us. We need to change the mindset of using easy, cheap and convenient things that have bad effects on us as our mother nature in the long run. Thinking conscientiously and deeply about our actions can help us in making a better choice. Going through minor inconveniences can save you from adverse effects of harmful things on your body as well as save our planet and humanity's future! Foe more details kindly visit

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