In an attempt to save the planet from the hand of drastic plastic pollution, two Bengaluru women came out with an initiative of ‘Cutlery Bank’ with 100 sets of plates, bowls, glasses and spoons. They lend these cutleries on rent for occasions which give people an option to avoid plastic utensils. As a security deposit initially they charged Rs 1500 in case of any damage and usually Rs. 15 per set for rent which customers returned after their usage.
After five years of this initiative popularly known as ‘Rent-A-Cutlery’, has now spread among more than 25 women with an objective of ‘Reduce’ and ‘Reuse’. In some cases, if they fail to provide utensils due to the unavailability of products, then they make arrangements from another nearest person who can make it available.
On most occasions, plastics made cutlery are being used abundantly which takes a decade to degrade. Plastics stick around in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins. Plastics originate as fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases from cradle to grave, according to a May 2019 report called “Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet,” released by the Center for International Environmental Law, a non-profit environmental law organization.
Whenever people visit this ‘Cutlery Bank’ to place an order, the associates feel proud for preventing people from using plastics. After getting back the cutlery, they cleaned, sterilized and wiped neatly to be used later. Regular customers don’t need to pay a security deposit in order to embolden them to support the cause. Till now they didn’t receive any complaint regarding the rental fare, quality of cutlery from customers. Even a few customers clean those plates before returning and get a special discount.
Since the beginning of this bank, lots of other cities have grappled with this initiative. Hyderabad and Chennai already started working for this cause. Although it is now not that successful, they are hopeful for the future. Surprisingly millions of tons of plastics are in the environment as waste, especially in the oceans and seas. Some scholars estimated that the volume of plastic in the ocean will be more than fish by 2050.
Already all offices of central and state governments and major PSUs have been told to prohibit single-use plastic products. India also has pledged to ban all single-use plastic by 2022.