Saving the Environment One Spoon at a Time

lily-ecotaster1_lowres1Take-out food and sustainability – Is it even possible? Whether you pick up fast food for lunch or ice cream for dessert, the point of takeout is easy acquirement and disposability, not environment sustainability. But what happens to all the waste? If the waste is a plastic spoon it could take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. Luckily organizations like the National Resturant Foundation and innovative entrepreneurs are coming up with ways to make the food business more sustainable.

Peggy Cross, an entrepreneur and product packaging designer, founded EcoTensil as means to reduce “one taste plastic waste” (i.e. sample spoons used to taste test ice cream flavors or other in-store samples). Though carrying around usable utensils might be the most sustainable option, it is not always feasible. No one wants to be carrying around a dirty spoon in their bag. Plastic utensils can take hundreds of years to decompose and other bio degradable options like potato spoons can still take months to years to biodegrade. All four of EcoTensils products are made in the United States from renewable paperboard and are FSC certified as sustainably forested. EcoTensils are both recyclable and biodegradable making them easy and sustainable to dispose of.

EcoTensil’s smallest product, the EcoTaster takes only 3-5 weeks to biodegrade and won the award for Best Green Product at Natural Products Expo in 2010. The EcoTaster ,who’s texture resembles a milk carton, is a little trickier to use then a normal spoon but considering how much less of an impact it makes then a normal spoon is worth the trouble. Sustainability will be an important aspect to the future of the restaurant and food industry. According to the National Restaurant Association, 60 percent of consumers prefer to patronize restaurants that recycle, and 51 percent of consumers indicate that they are willing to pay more at restaurants that recycle. By using innovative products like the EcoTensil, not only will food related businesses be more appetizing to customers, but they will also be able to reduce their environmental footprint.

EcoTaster (top) vs. biodegradable spoon after 2 weeks

EcoTaster (top) vs. biodegradable spoon after 2 weeks

Image Credits : EcoTensil

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

  • Nov 12th, 2011 at 10:47 | #1

    Get a clue. There is nothing eco about this, it is still a disposable product that was manufactured, packaged, transported and thrown into a plastic (oil based) plastic bag. If it isn’t real silverware it isn’t environmental. To stop conveniencing ourselves out of a livable planet, people need to carry utensils with them & bring doggie bags themselves. Learn this and so much more at EnvironmentalEducator.org & highly rated app.

  • D.M.
    Nov 17th, 2011 at 14:19 | #2

    @Environmental Educator

    So is it all or none? Obviously the best solution would be to carry your own utensils, which we can do for our part. The general population will do what ever they feel and use whatever is provided to them. So if we can lessen our impact, even a little….we should promote it! Eventually, all “plastics” will be replaced with eco-friendly products. The energy used to manufacture and transport will be renewable…etc.
    Don’t complain about the steps it’ll take for the population to live environmentally friendly, but the time it will take to get there.

  • Spencer
    Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:25 | #3

    My hope would be that EcoTasters would bring a significant awareness to the vast majority of Americans who don’t give a second thought to using a plastic tasting spoon at a food demo at WholeFoods, Sam’s Club or Costco.

    My hope would be that seeing a paperboard spoon might give them pause to consider that there are alternatives to single-use plastic. And just maybe they might start thinking about their own impact on this earth.

    In the mean time, wouldn’t it be cool to rid the planet of hundreds of millions, even billions of little plastic spoons!

    Products such as a sustainably forested and truly compostable paper spoon complete the “loop” and are Cradle to Cradle. Besides washing a spoon (which still uses resources) you can’t get more “eco” than that.

    As is stated on the above mentioned “EnviromentalEducator”website, “a lot of plastic has to end.” I agree!

  • Dec 15th, 2011 at 10:46 | #4

    To save the Earth and the human race safely recycle 100% of all human-generated waste products and peacefully reduce the human population with family planning education. If not, ecocide and extinction are inevitable.

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