Your favourite ice cream store in Bengaluru has been in the news recently, but it’s not for their ice cream, rather for their bowls. In June 2019, a famous ice cream parlour in Bengaluru launched the “Bring Your Own Bowl” initiative to avoid single-use cups and containers. Customers are requested to carry their own bowls for their orders as a part of this campaign.
Be it for a small scoop of ice cream or buffet at a large gathering, single-use cutlery and plates seem to be everywhere. These are convenient to use and negate the hassles of cleaning up later, so it’s not surprising that their consumption has become a thoughtless act. We may have come up with ways and means to address food waste from our events, but what about the other waste we generate? If only there was a way around it. Well, how about looking into our own kitchens for inspiration and using reusable dinnerware?
Carrying Personal Cutlery Everywhere
Across the country, citizen-driven initiatives have come up with cutlery and plate banks to give people the option to rent reusable plates and cups for their events. Solid waste management expert Vani Murthy shared that the movement is the result of many individuals refusing to use single-use cutlery, carrying their personal glasses and spoons wherever they go.
“We have been talking about these things for quite some time and also implemented them in small ways. For example, when we had meetings to discuss waste management, we would carry our tumblers and spoons to the local eateries. People also consciously began talking about this, which brought about the BYOC or the ‘Bring Your Own Cup’ movement,” says Murthy.
No one has ever become poor by giving
As awareness spread and rental initiatives came into the picture, people in large apartment complexes invested in common dinner sets which could be used by the residents for a gathering. “This really goes to show that small steps matter, even if it’s just you in the entire wedding hall using your own cutlery,” Murthy added.
While the idea seems simple and definitely worth trying, people working behind these initiatives can vouch that bringing a change like this is nowhere near easy.