Making Our Plastic Waste Edible

Making Our Plastic Waste Edible

    Plastic is one of the most useful materials as it is super cheap and easy to produce. Plastic utensils allow us to enjoy a meal without the cleanup. Plastic packaging makes us carry stuff with ease and safety. Our momentary convenience is often devastating for marine animals. Marine animals get entangled in this plastic waste and sadly die due to the complications incurred. It is estimated that 100 million marine mammals are killed due to plastic pollution every year.  There is a solution to this problem, and that is using packaging and cutlery substitutes that are biodegradable. Biodegradable means that the product is capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. To take a further step forward here's to products that are both biodegradable and edible. 

        Let us start with the one you are probably thinking of, edible spoons! These spoons are made of wheat, rice, or millet flours and were first introduced in 2010. Edible spoons are meant to be used in place of plastic spoons. The great thing about them is that after you use them to eat your meal, you can eat them afterward. Even if you do not eat the spoons, you don't need to worry because they are 100% biodegradable. The innovators of the world took this invention another step forward by giving it flavors. I think that it can add a great taste to your meal, and it can revolutionize our relationship with our cutlery, and food for the better. Edible spoons can withstand high temperatures and liquids, so you don't need to worry about your spoon breaking on you. I think to make these spoons viable significant supply and demand for them is required and thus allow the price to drop significantly. If we can produce them cheaper than their plastic counterparts were in business. More edible spoons result in less plastic spoons to end in our oceans and landfills. Let us help do our part by encouraging this technology and discouraging single-use plastics.

        Next up is edible rings for our six-packs. This idea was created by a beer brewing company trying to be the solution to the problem. The six-pack holder and created with beer byproducts like barley and wheat. Using these byproducts is a brilliant use for something that would usually end up in the trash. Now it's not going to be us eating it, but the marine animals if they come into contact with it. This packaging can be eaten by marine animals and pose no risk to them. If this product is left unconsumed, it is still biodegradable. The design is just as durable as its plastic counterpart, but it is slightly more expensive to produce. The onus then turns to us as consumers to pay that extra dollar to buy the beer that saves our marine animals. Other solutions include buying those single cans, bottles, and other products that are not packaged. Paper packaging is also an acceptable solution. 

            The two ideas above are fun yet realistic solutions to the problem of plastic waste. There are many more solutions to this problem, but it is up to us to incorporate them into our lives. As a consumer, we need to choose the biodegradable/better solution. Even if that means we have to spend a bit more money. Carrying around a metal straw, or a reusable bag are both examples of alternative solutions that also solve the problem. Go out there and be apart of the solution.