Its hard work making forks!

Trust me, I have spent the last 13 years trying to make mine.  So minus all the design and tooling work, the life of a fork begins in an oil refinery somewhere in the middle east.  

Taking Shape :

Once it has been synthesized into plastic pellets, its body parts eventually get moulded into the form you recognize today.  (These pellets are actually the D2W biodegradable agents that we add to the polystyrene to make the Heart Parts biodegradable!)

The Journey

From a manufacturing plant in India, it then travels thousands of miles across the ocean to a distribution center in New Jersey where it hangs out, (acting cool), waiting to be purchased by the big shots.

 

a 10 minute lifetime

By the time it is on the cutlery stand it is probably perfectly ripe at around 9 months old.  This little fork is waiting for you to give birth to him.  To let him live his life purpose. But, you’re on a deadline, and you’re starving! 10 minutes later – you’ve eaten, and this little fork is now parked up in the trash can about to begin another epic journey from consumption to disposal.  

You know Its cheaper not to recycle….right?

The humble trash can. This is where he begins his unceremonious migration to the landfills.  On the garbage truck he desperately hopes to be given a second chance in life at the sanitation department. But sadly, even though he is a recyclable material, it just doesn’t make economic sense to recycle him.  Sadly, only 5% of all plastics are actually recycled.  Recycling is too expensive….but at what cost to our environment? 

 

This is where your fork will end up without you.

As soon as you put it in the trash, you have sentenced your fork to a lifetime in a Landfill.  And the problem with ending up in a landfill is that most landfill sites are pretty uninhabitable environments.  They are hot and sweaty and there is no air to breathe in them, so living organisms and microbes can not survive here.  Without microbes breaking things down and feeding off them, even something like a bag of carrots, or the Sunday Times will still remain in tact here 80 years later. Without oxygen, all of that stuff is unable to degrade naturally, and eventually has to break down through a nasty process of anaerobic degradation instead.  This gives off a greenhouse gas called Methane which is 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide. With our current consuming habits we are running out of landfill real-estate.  And sadly, all of our waste is now spilling into an even more dangerous territory…..our oceans!

 

A Plastic Soup Ocean.

Ever heard of the ‘great pacific garbage patch?’ It is an area the size of Texas that hovers in the pacific ocean, essentially it is a man-made island, made entirely of plastic waste.  Once plastic starts breaking down in the Ocean, the sea life in that area mistake the shiny colorful fragments for a delicious meal and start to ingest it.  And because the plastic particles keep getting smaller and smaller, the ocean is now starting to look like a giant bowl of plastic soup.  We don’t know the full extent of the damage that plastic is having on the sea life, but if our fish are eating plastic and we are eating the fish, ironically, we may well be eating remnants of very fork that was once feeding us. 

 

The Truth about plastic.

plastic, as throwaway as we perceive it to be, is actually incredibly valuable.  As a material it can be formed into so many different shapes, is really durable and is gloriously colorful! The reason why we don’t value things like plastic utensils is because they are usually given away to us for free (in abundance) and because they have been designed to be thrown away. There is nothing about a white, bendy plastic fork that makes you want to keep it after you have used it. This is good news for most cutlery manufacturers because as long as we keep throwing forks away, they have to keep replacing them. You might think that the single-use disposable silverware industry is relatively insignificant, but let me remind you that we threw away over 100 Billion utensils last year.  If the average plastic fork costs a business $0.11, thats still 11 billion dollars that we trashed last year, after 10 minutes of use.

 

Rethinking Plastic.

The only way reduce the number of utensils being thrown away, it to completely change our ideas and habits around how we eat and dispose of things.  Lets face it, we need utensils to eat with when we are on the go.  they are convenient. And with more and more people eating-out and getting food delivery, our disposable paraphernalia are multiplying. When we made the Heart Parts, we wanted to make flat flatware that people would fall in love with too much to carelessly throw away. We wanted to turn something that we used to trash, into something that we can treasure.  We wanted to give you an alternative option, just incase you care about the same things we care about.  What would happen if we all started carrying our own portable utensils? Imagine using and re-using them time and time again, not because you were guilted into being “green” but because it is easier and more convenient to do so. Oh and did we mention that Heart Parts will eventually save the world too?  In an ideal world, we would all bring stainless steel lunch boxes and silverware to work or school, but in reality, we find it difficult to dispose of our disposables in a responsible way. We can no longer rely on recycling facilities to make our products live longer.  We just need to change our habits around the way we use and make things. More Love. Less waste.  That’s how we roll. 

 

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Responsibly!

Thankfully, There are so many scientists tinkering away in labs helping us to discover new ways to make things that have less of an environmental impact on our planet. We work with an amazing team of researchers in the UK who have developed an intelligent type of plastic that is so smart, that the Heart Parts eventually biodegrade like a leaf.  Yes, Heart Parts are biodegradable too! The additive that we use is called D2W and we urge any manufacturers out there reading this, to use this information to do the same with their plastic products. It’s no longer just about reducing, reusing and recycling, but its about doing all of these things responsibly. We are making leaps and strides with rethinking the way we use plastic bags and plastic bottles. Its time to put the same thought in the cutlery we are using too.