The benefits of bamboo cutlery – why it’s time to take a bamboo leaf out of France’s book

France recently became the first country to say au revoir to disposable plastic cutlery, following a government-introduced ban on the utensils. But frankly, it’s alarming this isn’t a worldwide policy yet. Here’s how you can do your bit.

The benefits of bamboo cutlery

We all hate plastic cutlery – the knife that doesn’t cut and the fork whose prongs snap off almost straight away. But there are even more reasons to make the switch to bamboo cutlery.

Of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually, 32% is left to flow into our oceans. That equates to pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. By 2030 it’s predicted that this will be two garbage trucks per minute, and four by 2050. It’s a well known fact that plastic waste is an ever increasing threat to our environment and ecosystems – not only for its single use nature but also the toxic chemicals released during production – so I won’t labour the point. But did you also know that it’s harmful to your body?

When plastic cutlery gets hot it leaches harmful chemicals into your food, posing a serious health hazard. Last night’s reheated leftovers sounding less appealing?

What is bamboo cutlery?

Simply, bamboo cutlery is the answer to all these problems. Lightweight and long lasting, your bamboo cutlery set can accompany you on any adventure: from the local park to a round the world cruise. What’s more, it’s waterproof, heat-resistant and doesn’t stain.

Our handy Better Than Bamboo Cutlery Set comes in its very own carry case. Sturdy and reusable, it’s a lightweight, portable alternative to the traditional metallic variety.

Bamboo cutlery means you can do your bit for the environment without having to compromise on convenience.

How is bamboo cutlery made?

Bamboo is a super fast-growing grass, growing at up to 5 feet a year. That means you can harvest bamboo 6-10 times in the time it would take for one tree to grow for wooden cutlery production. Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than the equivalent amount of trees, helps prevent soil erosion and is a carbon-neutral plant.

Most importantly however, an outer sheath develops around the newly growing plant in order to protect it, before then falling off naturally once the plant has matured. This can then be harvested, cleaned and boiled, then laminated to the correct thickness and pressed into cutlery shape.

The best part is that it’s a cyclical process – check out this diagram showing the process.

The Bamboo Process

Is bamboo cutlery safe?

Yes! It’s completely non-toxic due to the natural production process with no added chemicals. Just remember to wash them up with the rest of the dishes after use.

How to wash and look after your new bamboo cutlery set

It’s really simple to keep your bamboo cutlery looking great, they just need washing in hot soapy water after use. To help them stay looking their best they shouldn’t go in the dishwasher or be left to soak in liquid for a long time.

If your bamboo utensils start to look or feel dry, re-hydrate them with mineral oil, or bamboo conditioning oil (found in most kitchen supply stores). You can do this by applying oil with a clean cloth before leaving it to cure for a day or two.

But the real pièce de résistance? At the end of its life bamboo is fully biodegradable – decomposing in just 3 months. Compare that to the 1000 years taken by its plastic counterpart and I think we’re left in very little doubt of the benefits of bamboo cutlery.

So, bon voyage for your next picnic or holiday – don’t forget to pack the bamboo cutlery!

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Claire Coates

As part of the generation that will be most affected by climate change, Claire Coates is passionate about protecting our planet and campaigning for a sustainable way of life. Known by her friends as an eco-warrior, Claire runs a clothes swap scheme at her Sixth Form to recycle and reuse unwanted outfits. In her spare time she enjoys running her own radio show and playing for her local hockey team.

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