Everybody has one of those dumb drawers full of plastic utensils that we got when we had food delivered to our home. We all know this trend is ridiculous. Even the restaurants know it. No one needs plastic cutlery delivered to their home. No one needs it delivered to their office either. Everyone already has cutlery. Yet the plastic comes anyway, by default. It’s an unconscious and wasteful habit.
Maybe you think, “It’s just one fork,” but multiplied by millions upon millions, those plastic utensils are terrible for the environment. Some estimates put the number of individual plastic utensils wasted at 40 billion per year in the United States alone. After just one single use, most of them are thrown out and end up in landfills and in our waterways.
Plastic cutlery is one of those items that won’t get recycled even when you put it in the recycling. It’s too contaminated. It’s too small. It’s too lightweight. So those 40 billion plastic utensils per year are a complete waste.
Something has to change. Something has to move us from unconscious trend to conscious action. The non-profit organization Habits of Waste is focused on changing people’s habits by encouraging everyone to rethink this type of wasteful behavior. “It’s so embedded in our daily routine, it’s so normal that we don’t even see it,” says Habits of Waste founder, Sheila Morovati. She seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of a throwaway society, foster grass roots change and help everyone become aware of the power they have to influence others.