by Pei-Wen Wang
In recent years, environmental protection has been an issue that people focus on. Excessive garbage has seriously affected the global environment, for which many countries have formulated many policies. In view of this, some people have invented edible eating utensils, in an attempt to reduce the use of plastic tableware which only creates more waste.
LOLISTRAW- Finish your drink along with the straw
Launched by New York startup LOLIWARE, LOLISTRAW is made from fast-growing, low-calorie seaweed and is non-GMO and 100% plastic-free. The straw comes in a variety of flavors, such as rose, vanilla, charcoal, and there is also the original unflavored one. Even if the user does not feel like eating the straw, the straw can naturally decompose within 60 days.
Bakeys allows you to eat your spoon after you finish the rice
India has a population over 1.3 billion, which creates an average of 120 billion disposable tableware every year. Indian inventor Narayan Peesapaty founded Bakey’s in Hyderabad in central India in 2010. The company comes up with edible spoons using rice, wheat, and sorghum to create three flavors that are plain, sweet, and spicy.
Their spoons contain no preservatives, artificial additives, nor colorants. They are also 100% organic, vegan, and dairy free. What is even more amazing is that the spoons do not fall apart nor go soft in hot soup. They have a shelf life of almost three years and come at a low price.
Biotrem- edible plate with your salad
This edible plate was developed by Polish farmer Jerzy Wysocki. Having been millers for over a decade, Wysocki discovered by accident that wheat bran is mixed with water, heated, and pressurized, it can become a strong and lightweight organic material. Seeing the potential of this material, Wysocki started Biotrem in 2012, specializing in the production of eco-friendly bowls and cutlery sets made of wheat bran. If you do not consume the wheat bran plate with your food, for it naturally degrades within 30 days.
At present, one edible tableware that is commonly seen in Taiwan is rice straws. Business Manager Jane from Strawng Taiwan said, “Many straw products that claim to be degradable actually still contain some chemicals, which means they mostly just split into small pieces, instead of decomposing entirely. In comparison, straws by Strawng Taiwan decompose into rice liquid after use, which is 100% decomposition.”
The question here is why has not edible tableware and packaging been used on a large scale? For starters, the cost is high. In 2019, Katsuhiko Sakakibara, the managing director of Marushige Seika, pointed out that the price of edible tableware is 10 times that of plastic tableware. Only when the price is lowered by a huge amount can it become more prevalent to the public.