Biodegradable Spoons


We spent time this year learning about plastic and all the issues that we are beginning to realize come from this very versatile material. Students learned about how plastics are building up in landfills and our oceans and how all the plastic that has been created to date is still on this earth in one form or another. Students also learned about microplastics and how these tiny particles are wreaking havoc on our environment. We spent a lot of time discussing how we can reduce our own reliance on plastic and noted that our region has already moved away from single use shopping bags and discussed how our school has bottle filling stations to encourage using reusable water bottles. When searching for a project we narrowed in on the cafeteria and the amount of cutlery we see in the trash each day. Students learned that there were plastic alternatives that exist that could be make at home and wanted to try it for themselves.


We researched multiple different recipes and settled on a mix of 10 ingredients that we could combine in various recipes to attempt to create a biodegradable plastic alternative. Some of our recipes included food waste (eggshells and orange peels), all included some kind of thickening agent (agar agar, gelatin, kappa carrageenan & corn starch), glycerin, water or vinegar and food coloring to help identify the different mixtures.

To date we’ve completed 3 rounds of mixtures, with varying levels of success. We continue to refine our recipes but have had success with a couple of the mixtures. We are working to create a spoon that is durable and will not break from a single use. This will be an ongoing project that continues into next year. We are well on our way to having options that could be made available in the school and have had students successfully eat using our spoons. Our hope is to be able to reduce the amount of plastic spoons thrown in the trash for next school year.

Reflection & Celebration

A group of 6 students were able to wash their spoons before use and eat apple sauce without the spoons falling apart!

9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
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