Leaf utensils Vs plastic utensils! Why forgo the lesser biodegradable option?
When was the last time that you tried food in a leaf plate or leaf utensils? The aromatic smell of hot food on the dried leaf donas is an experience to remember! It may seem rustic but that is the correct approach when it comes to waste disposal.
The dried leaves of trees like sal, areca, and palm are weaved into shapes of plates, bowls etc and the food is served in them. It adds to the taste of food and is an easy way of disposing of the vessels. These leaf utensils are bio-degradable and go back into the soil in approximately 28 days.
Thermocol and plastic plates are the other alternatives to the lead plates. These are reusable and save money at the same time. You will also get a wide range of vessels like plates, bowls, cups, cutlery etc. These are tremendously popular among travelers and picnic goers.
Thermocol utensils, for instance, are light, cheap and easy to dispose of. But this by-product of polythene does not decompose in the soil after disposal. Also, the upper layer is affected when hot food is served on the same. When thrown into the water these create marine debris. If burnt these polythene components release harmful gases which can lead to respiratory problems.
Plastic utensils though more widely used by people pose similar problems. You will not be able to pour very hot food into these vessels because they lower heat resistance. Their biodegradability is highly questionable because they do not go into the soil. If they are improperly washed, they can clog reservoirs and drains. Most of the plastic vessels find their way into the dump sites and not recycled properly.
Thus, plastic and thermocol vessels should be avoided as far as possible because of the environmental and health hazards they pose.