How biodegradable tableware impact on sustainable environment?

You might be attracted to the funky colorful straws and cups served in restaurants, hotels and cafes. Take a moment to think of their fate once they are done served.  When you dumb a plastic cutlery, you indirectly dumb your responsibility in maintaining a healthy relationship with our planet.

Have you ever wondered how long they would remain on earth once disposed? It is estimated that plastic cutlery wastes alone contribute immensely to environmental pollution putting human lives at stake.  Disposable plastic tableware or DPT consumption is alarmingly in greater demand such that it is one of the prime reasons for the massive emission of CO² which will be 416MT by 2050 globally.

The recent trend goes with the increasing demand for plastic tableware, where they are used and thrown. These single use products create a deeper impact on the environment, highly threatening its existence. Plastics are likely to take thousands of years for complete decomposition adversely affecting both marine and land creatures. The need of the hour is to tackle this dangerous easy-going attitude, by switching to biodegradable tableware which is the simplest, greener and the most cost effective alternative available.

Biodegradable tableware’s are made from bamboo, agricultural residues, recycled papers etc. and they are 100% Eco-friendly and healthy. Bamboo fibre and wood is used in the manufacturing of bamboo table napkins, bamboo straws, wooden cups and spoons that comes in good mechanical strength and consumer friendly providing excellent substitute for plastic derived tableware. Bamboo fibres possess high tensile and mechanical strength which also comes with antivirus properties and cost effectiveness. They are used in the manufacturing of commonly available biodegradable tableware like spoons, cups, straws, table napkins, moreover bamboo is collaboratively used with sugarcane pulp enhancing further properties to the end product. Most importantly the processing and availability of bamboo is better, considering the growth period when compared to other natural resources.

DPT is known to be extremely harmful as they release toxic chemicals like Biphenyl-A, Phthalates on exposure to higher temperatures and heat which adversely affect the food served and the health of the person consuming the same. Biodegradable tableware leaves no residue of toxicity once disposed, on both health and environmental levels implying to the fact that they are Eco-friendly. Moreover, they add essential nutrients to the soil once decomposed and can also act as a source of compost. The energy requirement for the manufacturing of biodegradable tableware is lesser compared to DPT production which stand out as an impressive cost-effective alternative for the plastic cutlery.

Similar to your kitchen wastes, biodegradable tableware like bamboo serving napkins, bamboo straws, wooden cups, handmade wooden spoons can be used as a convenient resource for composting. It acts as a wise and advantageous method of disposal turned into benefit. This tableware when discarded into the pits, degrade and release essential nutrients into the soil in turn to be used as rich green manure to grow healthy. Moreover, these can easily be cleaned and stored thus loosening the post party workload.

Lesser energy requirement for manufacturing is the other advantage of biodegradable tableware. DPT requires high energy for production and are harmful for the environment, on the contrary biodegradable tableware degrades easily and are renewable hence does not inflict damage or deplete the planet’s natural resources. As they are environmentally friendly and are made from natural raw materials like bamboo and other natural residues, they leave no harm. Also, they are likely to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases maintaining its own carbon footprint.

Thermophilic environment is a viable condition for the disposal and degradation of these tableware, while on the contrary disposable plastic tableware is harmful and stays longer than 450 years in the soil. They are normally incinerated or land-filled which requires a lot of labour and energy. This ensures the necessity for eco-friendly products which plays a crucial role in the sustainable development and life cycle.

It is important to assimilate the fact that product alternatives have a huge role to play in today’s world and here rises the necessity of perceiving the importance of biodegradable, eco-friendly, compostable tableware as the substitute for DPT and other plastic cutleries. Organic products made from bamboo, wood and agricultural residues is widely accepted and adopted as they help in tackling the present environmental crisis and the reduction of landfill rates by 40%.

The expanding prospects on biodegradable and compostable tableware and cutlery have built awareness on the potential benefits of balancing the greenhouse gases emission and other environmental instabilities rising out of the processing, manufacturing and disposal of DPT and their impacts over the entire life cycle. Using such tableware extend to sustainable development upholding the need of using materials intending to promote healthy ecosystem with minimal harmful disposal especially of the oil-based primers and plastics. Typically, these tableware comes from raw materials like bamboo, wood and other residues, hence the waste management is handled easy and better by composting and minimizing landfill.

This can be highlighted particularly in view of the general notion of waste generation and management which is an important aspect of the present hour. The price tags of DPT mat attract the consumers but the aftermath ungenerously kills the environment and the over life cycle. It also questions the issue of waste management and disposal which has to be incinerated or landfilled. Unfortunately, in most cases the DPT never meet this fate and are normally seen littered. Moreover, plastics are petro chemical based and the conventional methods of disposals are not appreciated.

A recent science article reports the rate of plastic debris that eventually accumulates as microscopic granules possessing higher destructive elements that gathers in the ocean eventually making its way into the marine ecosystem. The rates of marine deaths and great garbage patch are not new to the human world. Biodegradable tableware comes with excellent biodegradability and inherent renewability which epitomizes the performances of these eco-friendly products towards a green and healthy planet. The raw materials used for the preparation have excellent water and oil resisting property, durability and preferred mechanical strength which is the prime reason for its potential replacement of DPT which contributes vehemently towards severe “white pollution” caused by the immoderate utilisation of plastics.

For the production of DPT, chemical elements like polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene are normally used and in the course of production and manufacturing, these materials inflict environmental consequences. Therefore, replacing these materials with the biodegradable, compostable and eco-friendly products is an urgent need even though availability of these products is lesser when compared to the plastic tableware.

Plastics made our daily life much convenient at the cost of environment with its light weight and mechanical properties, versatility, resistance to water, corrosion and low cost. Dominating the world in almost every field of work and development, plastic has profoundly descaled the planet and ecosystem, posing a threat to sustainable development and biodiversity. Among them, cutlery and tableware contribute a major portion of ecosystem degradation.

A recent study states that almost 16 billion disposable cups, half a billion plastic straws are discarded every year globally. These plastic tableware takes more than 450 years for total decomposition, adversely affecting the the soil, water bodies, marine life and ultimately the entire planet. Almost 40% of the total plastic pollution is rendered to these disposable cups. 8 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide and majority of the waste mass accumulates in oceans. The landfill treatment and incineration results in the emission of harmful toxic gases like fluorine, carbide and chlorine which contributes to ozone depletion as well. The primary approach to the disposal of single used plastic is landfill treatment.

Biodegradable tableware is degraded within 60 days under natural conditions which is a shorter time period when compared to synthetic plastics. On comparing, the plastic tableware is either incinerated or landfilled both requiring high amount of energy and threats. The processing of synthetic plastics or DPT reasons the emission of massive amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases further implementing climate change. The results confirms that biodegradable tablewares are preferred and can be combined with the organic recycling products significantly reducing the carbon and resource footprint thus ensuring the circular economic principalities.

The current scenarios in canteens and restaurants proves the situations where the waste management is poorly executed generating heterogeneous waste materials containing food waste and plastic cutlery. They are later sent to the landfills without segregation or incinerated with minimal energy recovery. The alternative for this demeaning situation is biodegradable tableware which can be disposed with greater amount of organic and energy recovery.

The choice of cutlery and tableware can create a huge impact on the environmental stability and an overall difference in the waste management. Biodegradable tableware is credited to the sustainable management strategies and recent studies and research works provide a concrete base to the importance and necessity of these products (cutlery and tableware) in reducing the overall impact on ecosystem and waste management. Biodegradable tableware is far better than a single time used plastic alternatives which can completely destabilize the life cycle both in performance and social sense.

More importantly the waste treatment of these biodegradable tableware has a greater role to perform in the urgent hours of sustainable development.

There are plenty of eco-friendly products or sustainable products easily available for you. You can find out many such products of your choice in renovearth and be a part of this eco- friendly revolution.

Scroll to Top