Can You Recycle Plastic Cutlery?

We all enjoy eating takeouts. Whether from a Chinese restaurant, a Korean one or even a local restaurant in your community, take-out is the perfect meal for lunch and dinner. Takeout boxes come with disposable cutlery, and most times, they are plastic ones.

What do you do when your takeout box is empty? You had a lovely meal, and now, it is time to dispose of the containers. There are almost no issues with disposing of the containers because they are made from lightweight cardboard, and you can choose to recycle them or turn them into compost materials. However, it is pretty rare to find cutlery made out of that too.

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Disposing of your plastic cutlery should be a significant concern if you are interested in joining the movement to save and protect your environment because plastic materials can cause a lot of damage when they are not disposed of properly.

We have come up with this blog post to provide information on how you can properly get rid of your plastic utensils. The best part is, these methods are entirely stress-free. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy this post!

Is Plastic Cutlery Recyclable?

Plastic cutlery is very portable and easy to maintain. It needs no maintenance because once you have used it, you can toss it and pick up another. It is the perfect utensil if you don’t enjoy doing your dishes.

You can even choose to reuse your plastic cutlery. All you have to do is wipe it clean with a kitchen towel, and you are good to go. If you are a very busy person, this is a very suitable utensil because you don’t have to dedicate time to wash it.

However, when it is eventually time for you to let go of these utensils, how do you go about disposing of them? They are not designed to be used for a long time, so even when you choose to reuse them for a while, you would still have to dispose of them. Asides from the fact that they are not designed for long-term use, they break easily, so there’s no way you are holding on to them for a long time.

If you are one of the people who have chosen to take active steps to protect our environment, then your immediate thought would be to recycle your plastic cutlery. It sounds like a good plan, but it isn’t most times. Why is that? Sit back and find out.

The recycling machine can mistake it for paper because it is indeed as small and lightweight as paper. When this happens, the cutlery will get recycled with paper, but it would contaminate what is being recycled because it isn’t as delicate as paper. It could also clog some holes in the rotating machine and damage it.

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We recycle our waste because we want it to be useful for other things in the long run. However, materials like plastic spoons and forks can contaminate the remaining materials and make the endgame of recycling futile.

The recycling centers that make room for you to recycle your plastic cutlery are just a handful, however, they exist. It is possible for you to recycle your plastic cutlery. All you need to do is ask the servicemen at your recycling center if you can. If there is no room for that, then you still have a lot of options for disposing of them.

Is Plastic Cutlery Biodegradable?

Biodegradable materials are materials that get easily decomposed or broken down into particles by microorganisms. The science of it is pretty fascinating, but that is not what we are here for. Instead, you are looking to learn if plastic cutlery would count as biodegradable materials.

The short answer is No. Plastic cutlery is made from plastic, and plastic is one of the materials that can damage the environment because plastic cannot decompose; it would merely break into smaller pieces and remain that way for a very long time.

Is Plastic Cutlery Compostable?

If you enjoy gardening from time to time, then you will understand how essential compost materials are. The best part about gardening is that you can use waste products from your home to tend your garden and have them serve as fertilizers.

Not all items in the home are compostable. Plastics happen to be one of them. Plastics are not compostable because microorganisms find it hard to break them down. As a result, they do not decay, merely break into very tiny pieces and serve as nuisances to the environment.

Since plastic cutlery is not compostable, that means you have to find ways to get rid of them properly. The option to recycle is not always there either, so this makes it a bit harder. However, we will inform you of some ways you can dispose of them without stress.

Can You Donate Plastic Cutlery?

Do you have a bunch of plastic cutlery you haven’t used? For example, when you order take out from your favorite restaurant, sometimes you end up not using the plastic cutlery that comes with your food. Over time, you may accumulate them and would like to get rid of them.

Throwing them away seems wasteful because there are many uses for them. So instead of throwing them away, why not give them out? You can donate your unused plastic cutlery, and here’s how.

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You can choose to donate them to shelters for homeless people. These shelters are always open to any help they can get. If your way of helping the needy is by donating your unwanted plastic cutlery to charity, then so be it.

There are various homeless shelters, and we are sure you will have one or two in your area. An excellent way to get rid of your plastic cutlery is to walk or take a bus to the nearest one and donate them. Homeless shelters are always open to taking things that people want to donate, and plastic cutlery isn’t an exception.

You can also choose to give them to the homeless people in your neighborhood. Homeless people feed too, and they would be grateful to have a couple of clean spoons and forks for their next meal. If you feel generous, you can even decide to buy a meal or two to accompany the plastic cutlery you are giving away.

What Can You Do With Plastic Cutlery?

Plastic cutlery is a household item that can accumulate over time. Did you recently host a party and buy a few packs of plastic cutlery only to find out you bought too much? Are you a takeout regular, with a ton of unused plastic cutlery accumulating and gradually becoming a nuisance? Or are you tired of reusing your plastic cutlery and would like to get rid of them?

If you are, then we have got you covered. We have many ideas for your useless plastic cutlery and are sure that you will enjoy playing around with them. Recycling remains the best idea, and since in this case, it’s a bit more difficult because of the nature and size of plastic cutlery, there are other options you can just as easily opt for.

1. Give Them Out

Giving out things you are no longer using is a way to prevent them from going to waste. You would also end up feeling good about yourself. There are various options for donating your plastic cutlery, and they are all guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself.

One of them is to donate to charity. There are many nonprofit organizations that host events are intervals. They also take on mass feeding of the homeless. One way you can contribute to this movement is by donating your cutlery to them. They feed many people, and it is reasonable to expect that they would be using disposable plates and cutlery for these events.

You can also give to the homeless people in your community. If it is difficult to find them, you may opt for just donating all the cutlery to the homeless shelters. These should be a lot easier to locate because they have gradually become rampant in our country.

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2. Bookmarks

Need a cool way to keep track of your current reading pages? You could use the handle of your plastic spoons and forks. Most times, these cutleries come in different colors and designs. Now, you have an array of potential bookmarks.

For this cool tip, cut off the spoon or fork part and file the snipped edges. When you’re done, you would have a bunch of cutlery handles you can use to indicate the page you’re currently on. The best part is, you can use the spoon and fork parts you cut off for other amazing artsy projects.

3. Spoon River

If you’ve got a bunch of spoons you want to dispose of, don’t. Save them for a spoon river instead. Spoon rivers are artsy items you can hang around your house. The best part is, they’re quite easy to make.

Creating a spoon river may take a while but you’ll be satisfied when you’re done. You can hang them in various rooms in your house. It’s a super-efficient way to get rid of plastic cutlery you don’t need anymore. We bet you can’t wait to give it a shot.

4. Save Them For Your Next Party

Hosting a party most times requires you to provide entertainment and nourishment. Unfortunately, your guests can’t use their hands to eat everything you serve them; they would need cutlery for a few meals, which is where your plastic cutlery comes into play.

Each person would get the required cutlery for the meal, and when everyone is done eating, you would not have to worry about doing a ton of dishes.

You can also offer them to your friends who are planning a party. It saves them the money they would have spent buying cutlery and the stress of cleaning their silverware if they use them for their party.

You could also offer this service if you have a party at your workplace. Plastic cutlery would also be needed because it is the most suitable set of items for parties- no one has to bother about doing the dishes when the party ends.

Conclusion

Virtually every house has plastic items in storage. They can be cutlery, plates, jugs and even bowls. However, what seems to be in abundance is plastic cutlery. Unfortunately, it is also one of the few household items that are a bit difficult to get rid of.

We have provided the information you need to get rid of the plastic cutlery you don’t want anymore. If you have been doing it the wrong way, it would be great to fix up. You may choose to recycle them if that option is available at your locality or use one of the other options provided.

References:

https://www.calgary.ca/uep/wrs/what-goes-where/plastic-cutlery.html

https://www.recycling.vic.gov.au/can-i-recycle-this/cutlery-plastic

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/22/mnn.plastic.forks.recycle/index.html

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.