The simple fact is that compostable utensils are one of the few compostable food packaging items where costs have not come down significantly, relative to available plastic options. A case of compostable cutlery can be 3x or 4x the price of a case of plastic cutlery ($10 for a case of 1,000 plastic forks vs $30-$40 for a case of 1,000 compostable forks). This can be tough to stomach, particularly for small business owners of restaurants & cafes who operate on very thin margins.
The trouble is that the cost of plastic cutlery doesn’t account for its full environmental cost. It doesn’t account for the landfill space needed, the increased energy used to manufacture it, and it sure doesn’t account for the BP Oil Spills of the world.
Plastic cutlery makes life easier on businesses, who instead of having to wash a host of metal forks, spoons, and knives, can simply ask cutomers to discard their cutlery once they’re done eating.
It also makes life easier on consumers who are hosting events or parties with a large amount of guests. No clean-up involved – simply toss the utensils in the trash.
This factor I take serious issue with however. Most households and businesses have dishwashers that make the cleaning process very quick and efficient… and even if they don’t, how long does is really take to clean a big batch of utensils?
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