For those who give a fork about single-use plastic waste, there’s a new crowdfunding project with your name on it.
GoSun, maker of the eco-friendly battery-powered fridge and solar oven, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its GoSun Flatware, a patent-pending set of reusable cutlery that’s so small it fits in your wallet. The stainless steel fork and spoon come in two pieces in a thin metal case roughly the size of a credit card. The pieces are dishwasher-safe and can be snapped together to make small (but functional) cutlery. The theory is you can keep the case in your wallet, so that whenever you go out to eat or pick up to-go food you can use it then and there and don’t need to take the single-use plastic utensils restaurants offer.
With the popularity of food delivery and our collective obsession with convenience, single-use cutlery has become a massive problem. According to National Geographic, more than 100 million plastic utensils are used every day in the U.S. alone. Since single-use cutlery varies in shape and material, they’re super difficult to recycle — which means that the vast majority of spoons, forks, and the like wind up clogging landfills or killing ocean turtles.
While there are plenty of other reusable cutlery options out there, GoSun’s convenience sets it apart. If you keep the set in your wallet, you can’t forget it when you go pick up your Chipotle burrito bowl. It’s self-contained, which means you don’t have to worry about cleaning your cutlery after use, lest you walk around with a dirty fork in your pocket until you find a sink
Clearly I’m not the only one intrigued by this credit card-sized solution to cutlery waste. The GoSun Flatware Kickstarter campaign has raised over $179,000, way more than its $2,500 initial goal, with nine days left in the campaign. Early backers can snag their own set for $20 before the price doubles as it heads to retail on the GoSun website.
The GoSun Flatware is set to deliver in February of 2020. As always, it’s good to be healthily skeptical towards crowdfunded hardware projects. However, this is GoSun’s seventh crowdfunded project, and several of its products are already shipping, so it seems like a relatively safe bet that backers will actually get the goods.
GoSun isn’t the only one thinking outside of plastic when it comes to single-use cutlery waste. Another notable company is Planeteer, which nabbed first prize at the SKS 2019 Future Food competition. The startup makes edible single-use spoons, so instead of ending up in the trash or recycling bins they truly leave no trace.
Single-use cutlery waste is an immense problem, so it’s refreshing to see companies developing creative solutions. I actually ended up backing GoSun Flatware myself, so hopefully that means at least a few plastic forks in the ocean.