Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Unfortunately, the handy knives, forks and spoons that you conveniently grab from your favourite food truck, lunch spot or airport cafe are too light and too contaminated for recycling.....even if you throw them in the recycling bin.
According to the World Economic Forum - "Rethinking The Way We Use Plastics" report., In the United States 40 Billion utensils are wasted hit landfills each year. If we divide that by 13 then it is reasonable to assume that in Australia alone we contribute 3 Billion plastic utensils into our oceans and landfills each year.
Why so serious?
In the same report, the World Economic Forum states that if behaviours don't change by 2050 the ratio of plastic to fish in our Oceans will be 1:1....these are pretty dire statistics right?
NOBODY WANTS TO SEE AS MUCH PLASTIC IN THE OCEAN AS THERE IS FISH!
What Can We Do About It?
Gone are the days of being labelled a "hippie" or a "greenie" for making sustainable/ethical choices in our everyday lives. With a little bit of effort and substitution in our everyday lives, we can start making ripples in the chain towards a sustainable future. After all who wants to pay double for Fish & Chips because the nets are full of plastic straws, cups and cutlery? It's not until we become aware of an issue that we can start moving towards making better choices What choices are there within the cutlery space?
Melbourne Duo Morgan Bell and Imran Din are here to save the day with their stylish re-usable cutlery brand Just Utensils.
The Ethical Kollektiv sat down with the two men in charge to discuss the brand and motivators behind the concept.
Q. Gentlemen, how does small a brand like this take on a huge single-use plastic market?
Immy - "Originally with Just Utensils, we focused our attention on the online retail sector, targetting the conscious consumer buying reusable cutlery for work lunches, school lunch boxes and camping trips. Soon after we realised the demand for our product became very popular on a wholesale level from both Cafe's and surprisingly the corporate sector."
Q. How So?
Morgan - "Most coffee shop owners/managers care about the impact they have on the environment and want to reduce the number of single-use plastics they consume. Not only are single-use plastics huge expense for a cafe but it's also very taxing on the environment.
Being able to sell and reusable cutlery from the counter gives the Cafe/Restaurant/Shop owner a chance to communicate to their audience what they stand for and give them the opportunity to reduce their footprint on the environment." - We are trailing this process with a few Cafe's in Melbourne at the moment.
Immy - Just weeks into our launch we were approached by some very large multinationals who were concerned at the amount of money they kept wasting on silverware that ended up missing. The popular option was to buy re-usable cutlery set for each employee who would then become responsible for their own needs. The reason for finding us online was more financially driven, however, considering our low price point compared to other sustainable options the choice to go with Just Utensils was an easy one to make."
Q. What's the plan from here?
Immy - We are seeing an increase in enquiries from larger companies who are buying sets for staff to become more "Covid Safe". Individual sets eliminate the risk of contamination by removing the need for shared office cutlery. These larger orders have allowed us to scale and accommodate custom prints with logos.
We plan on continuing to expand our variety of colours and cutlery sets available to buy online, we recently added chopsticks to the cutlery set which has been more popular than anticipated. We both love our food and music, so expanding our reach at food truck events, major music events and festivals seems like a natural progression for us.