Ever heard of eating spoons? Well, the answer would be “NO” because all we have been using throughout are: Plastic, wooden, steel made spoons, forks, knives, chopsticks at our homes, restaurants, workplaces, hotels etc.
According to a 2019-2020 report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which collates data from 60 major cities in India, the country generates around 26,000 tons of plastic waste a day. Also with a sharp depletion of ground water, it has been predicted that the cropping intensity will decrease up to 20% by 2025; hence a major concern for India as its farming contributes 17-18% of GDP.
Worried about the environment, an eco-friendly, creative and healthy alternative was put forward by a Telegana researcher, Narayana Peesapaty who came with “Bakey’s” a manufacturing startup in his hometown Telegana . He has come up with nutritious edible cutlery made from millets and wheat. He added rich flavours like sugar, ginger-cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, mint-ginger, and carrot-beetroot to make it tastier and healthier.
The cutlery gets decomposed subsequently after completing a shelf life of 3 years unlike plastic spoons which take 1,100 years. Bakey’s crunchy cutlery is used in hot water, hot soups, for holding semi liquid food etc. The man who cares for the earth’s sustainability, he started using potato starch for its packaging rather choosing paper or plastic.
“In addition to reducing the use of plastic, I wanted to understand how Jowar (a type of millet) can be promoted as an alternative to rice, which is more taxing on natural resources like water. In comparison, Jowar consumes only a quarter of the water used for rice cultivation, hence it is easy to grow and has good nutrient value," says Peesapaty.
To create a market for millets, as it had a download sloping trend, he pushed himself to work on organic cutlery as he observed 5000 cubic meters of water is needed to produce rice; which has caused severe groundwater depletion.
In 2016, Bakey’s raised 18.7 million by crowd funding on Kickstarter and more than 2.4 million on Ketto. A pocket friendly Bakey’s spoon costs Rs 3 and a chocolate spoon is sold at Rs 4.5 per piece respectively. Just like Peesapaty, We as rational thinkers should focus on green investment, eco friendly startups, encourage food delivery apps to use edible cutleries and cut out plastic from our everyday lifestyle. Moreover, as the globe is still under the realm of Covid 19 pandemic, we must switch to zero waste, one time use cutlery to maintain health and hygiene.