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Some of Pappco’s eco-friendly disposable tableware   | Photo Credit: Joy Manavath Photography

It's not an uncommon sight in any urban household to find a stash of packaged plastic cutlery, usually received with takeaway orders, and kept aside for a rainy day. These are then deployed during the occasional house party, where many inevitably break or are deemed worthless to wash and preserve, and summarily disposed of.

Hosting a larger event, like a wedding, is even more of a nightmare, as heaps upon heaps of thermocol-based plates and tiny plastic spoons make their way to landfills. But not because there aren't better alternatives.

Eco-friendly tableware is a thing, and it is catching on in India. Just that it may require a little more effort than the average Amazon search query.

One of the leading names in this space is Pappco Greenware, started in 2011, which specialises in making cutlery using byproducts of easily renewable sugarcane, bamboo, and wheat straw. Capitalising on plastic bans imposed in certain cities in India, the company moved to fill the void, with some businesses opting to use alternatives like paper straws, doing away with one of the most notorious forms of plastic waste produced.

Delhi-based Ecoware and Bengaluru-based Earthware (now, also offer eco-friendly alternatives, both for businesses and homeowners looking to host events which may otherwise require large amounts of non-biodegradable tableware.

The cost of having a conscience is not astronomical either, with Pappco charging ₹200 for a pack of 10 12-inch biodegradable and compostable plates, and ₹140 for a pack of 40 large spoons. A pack of 20 10-inch plates from Ecoware will set you back by ₹113. Most of these products are even microwave friendly, and claim to offer better structural integrity than say, thermocol plates, which are significantly flimsier, sometimes requiring the use of two plates just to provide adequate structural support.

For those looking to reduce the plastic footprint at home over a longer period, Saveglobe offers resources for multiple products, reusable tableware made of natural fibre, and even travel mugs, lunchboxes and children's dinner sets made of biodegradable rice husk. These require a little more care when it comes to how they are handled, but do contribute to the elimination of plastic from items used daily.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 1:31:29 PM |

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