Public Domain MaxPixel Reusability beats out biodegradability any day. You may have grown accustomed to carrying a reusable coffee cup and water bottle by now, and maybe even a metal straw. But here’s something else to add to your backpack or purse – a set of reusable cutlery. There was a time when people carried their own cutlery everywhere they went. In fact, it was a mark of social status, similar to a pocket watch or jewellery. Wealthier people carried sets made of gold or ivory, while lower-class travellers used cutlery made of wood, stone, or shells. Sarah Coffin, who curated an exhibit called "Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Trade, 1500-2005" at the Cooper Hewitt design museum in New York in 2006, explained in National Geographic how reusable cutlery was not just about showing off, but also maintaining personal health: "You would come with a little carry case, and it would be your own personal knife and spoon. [Bringing your own means] you don’t have to worry about someone else’s germs in your soup." After World World II, plastic cutlery began to appear, along with countless other disposable items. Coffin attributes plastic cutlery’s meteoric rise in […]

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