When it comes to ocean pollution, contributions to the problem can range from plastic bottles and straws to food wrappers and single-use grocery bags, most of us are well aware that an ever-growing flood of garbage is entering our ocean on a daily basis. But have you ever thought about how the plastic silverware thrown in your food bags is a rising issue in the ocean pollution problem?
Nowadays, most restaurants and fast-food joints carry plastic silverware. They’re a lot of the time grabbed by fistfuls and thrown into orders mindlessly without counting as well.
Every year in the United States, an estimated 561 billion disposable food ware items are used, resulting in 4.9 million tons of waste. This amount continues to rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, the use of disposable food accessories has contributed to a 250-300% increase in single-use plastics and a 30% increase in waste. California’s local governments and taxpayers spend over $428 million annually in ongoing efforts to clean up and prevent litter in streets, storm drains, parks, and waterways (forbes.com).
Reducing single-use plastic food ware accessories at the source is a simple win-win solution. It lowers waste, saves businesses money, helps to keep our environment and communities clean, and relieves recyclers, and local governments from the complications and costs associated with all of this unnecessary extra plastic.
Take the pledge today: quit the disposable food ware, and simply take your food home to your own silverware at home. Not headed home? There are some great pocketable alternatives so you can bring your own everywhere. If we can do it with straws, we can do it with other plastics, too.