I’ve been reading up a fair bit on going zero-waste in the past year. Enough to fill a small book, and another one*. One of the most fascinating things I’ve come across is the number of ‘Cutlery Banks’ or rental services for plates, spoons, cups etc to cater to small parties started by eco-conscious individuals across India.
We’ve all had small parties at home, for 15-20 people - a number small enough that regular caterers are unlikely to be needed, but a number large enough that we can’t make do with the cutlery that we already have at home. And so we go to the nearest big supermarket and lug home some disposable cups, plates and spoons. And what happens at the end of the party? We pull out those big black garbage bags (or green, if you’ve bought those seemingly ‘bio-degradable’ ones) and you dump all the used plates, cups and spoons into it, and you have THREE BAGS-FULL. Or several more. All of it gets unceremoniously thrown away with leftover food and other waste. Not the most eco-friendly way to party, is it?
Imagine if instead, there’s nothing thrown out because you used reusable cutlery and composted all the food waste? (Or donated the good leftover food if some of your guests didn’t show up.) Wouldn’t that be a celebration that’s beautiful and considerate of our planet?
Here’s where these Plate Banks or Cutlery Banks come in handy. And the best part is that many of these places offer to rent it out for free, or at a very minimal cost. That’s how devoted these folks are to the cause of the environment!
I hope this list below inspires you to use these services the next time you have a party. If you know a service in India that is not listed here, please leave a comment below, I will update the list. Even better, if your city isn’t listed here, I hope this inspires at least a few of you to maybe even start a service in your city or town.