Plastic Free July: Reusable Forks Were Once a Status Symbol and 3 Other Mind-Blowing Facts about Plastics

July 01, 2020 2 min read

Plastic Free July: Reusable Forks Were Once a Status Symbol and 3 Other Mind-Blowing Facts about Plastics

Let’s get right to the point: We’re a science-based company grounded in facts that fight back, and we believe education is key to making a difference. What better time to knowledge up than  Plastic Free July, a global effort to help humanity refuse single-use plastic. 

July 1 kicks off a month of small changes for big impact. As part of this movement, we’re committed to bringing you the hard facts on plastic pollution and why we hope you choose to reuse. Take a read, then share it with everyone you know—Plastic Free July is a solid step in the #effsingleuse direction.


Only ~9% of plastic is recycled 

    Recycling Plant - Only 9% of Plastic Is Recycled

    Wait, what? You heard it right—91% of manufactured plastics is not recycled. That means 9 out of 10 plastic bags, 9 out of 10 plastic forks or spoons, 9 out of 10 plastic water bottles, 9 out of 10 disposable takeout containers—they’re all going straight to the landfill. (National Geographic)

    In 30 years, the amount of plastic in the oceans could outweigh the fish

      Plastic Bags Being Made

      If we maintain the current rate of single-use waste hitting the ocean, there will be approximately 937 million tons of plastic compared to 895 million tons of fish by 2050. Let’s take it one step further: at the current rate of waste, we’re dumping the equivalent of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. Just keep swimming? (World Economic Forum)

      “That takeaway box that was in your hands for 10 minutes on Friday night could be in the ocean forever.”

        Plastic Take Out Container on the beach

        Disposable takeout boxes live more lifetimes than they deserve, degrading as they go through our waterways and oceans. As they disintegrate into the ecosystem, they poison the animals who eat them—scientists have found plastic inside34% of dead leatherback sea turtles.(World Economic Forum &Beachapedia)

          1000 years = the time it can take for a plastic fork to decompose

            Plastic Decomposition over time

            For plastic cutlery not ending up in the GPGP or a recycling facility, well, it will be hanging out in a landfill for the next ten centuries. That means a plastic fork you throw in the trash today won’t decompose until 3020.

            Bonus Fun fact: Historically, traveling with your own set of cutlery was  THE thing to do—both as a status symbol and to prevent the spread of germs. After World World II, reusables fell out of favor when fast food hit the scene and convenient plastic options gained quickly in popularity. Kudos to  France for beginning a ban on single-use cutlery and other disposables starting this year. (National Geographic

            Plastic Free July offers an opportunity to make years of difference in just one month. Continue the trend with a pledge to #effsingleuse for lifetimes of impact. Two brands, one mission. Together, ChicoBag and To-Go Ware are helping humanity bag the single-use habit with our biggest, boldest campaign ever. We’ve launched an unapologetic movement to eliminate 34 billion single-use items from our waterways and oceans by 2022.  Sign the pledge to #effsingleuse here!