Ecovita’s Bamboo Cutlery

overall rating:

1.25

planets

Alyssa Schaer
12/17/2021
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Are you looking to cut down on your single-use consumption? Then you should probably refuse single-use utensils altogether. But what about the times that you get take-out or food delivered? According to Forbes, an estimated 40 billion individual plastic utensils are wasted every year in the U.S. Therefore, what alternatives to plastic should customers be pushing businesses to use? Well, in this review I take a look at Ecovita’s Bamboo Cutlery to determine if bamboo materials are a better alternative to plastic.


Ecovita’s website states it “...is committed to providing customers convenient, eco-friendly products for everyday activities and events.” Its Bamboo Cutlery set is $64.95 for 380 utensils. This means that you are paying about $6.00 per individual utensil. If Ecovita Bamboo Cutlery wants to be a competitive product, it needs to find a way to decrease its price. As a consumer, I know that I could go to Walmart and buy two packs of 192 count assorted cutlery at $7.98 each, thus only spending 16 dollars or 4 times less what I would have spent to get the same number of ecofriendly utensils. While that is an expensive price to pay for a set of throw-away utensils, consumers can feel good about their purchase because the product is 100% certified compostable and 100% bamboo-based. Bamboo is a sustainable material that is fast growing and doesn’t require fertilizer/pesticides or large amounts of water for irrigation. Although the product’s raw materials may be sustainable, little is known about the company and how it manufactures, ships, and distributes its bamboo cutlery set. The company’s lack of transparency, makes me think that it is not as sustainable as it says it is. 

What it's made of:

2.5

Ecovita bamboo cutlery’s shape and durability make it perfect for any event - whether that's camping, picnics, lunches, BBQs, or restaurants. It is also only made from one ingredient, bamboo. The use of bamboo within single-use cutlery products is very sustainable in comparison to plastic, corn, or wooden alternatives. Bamboo is fast-growing, requires no fertilizer/pesticides, and does not use large amounts of water for irrigation. Bamboo groves release 35% more oxygen into the air than a similar-sized group of trees. Also, bamboo matures within seven years, while a group of trees may take 30-50 years to mature. Additionally, if cut down, bamboo can self-regenerate from its roots, and doesn't need to be replanted. Bamboo is so fast-growing that it can yield 20 times more timber than trees in the same area.


Furthermore, the cutlery set is 100% certified compostable. It has been tested by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for compostability and is compliant with their standards. ASTM is an organization that publishes production and testing standards for various industries. This means that the products are certified for industrial composting, and will convert them back into useful soil within 2-4 months. In addition to industrial composting, the bamboo cutlery is backyard compost friendly, although the company does not specify how long it will take them to compost.

Ecovita’s website also states that its bamboo cutlery is BPA-free. BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical that has been used to make plastics and resins. Exposure to the chemical is a concern because of the possible health effects on the brain and links to increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

As for the packaging, it is unclear, but the pictures on their website show the utensils in a cardboard box, that is inside another paperboard box. Paper is a good alternative to plastic since it is recyclable and biodegrades, but if you are already making your products out of bamboo, which is much more sustainable than paper, why not make the packaging from bamboo too?

How it's made:

0.5

Ecovita does not have a transparent supply chain. There is no information about where the bamboo is sourced from, although they do state that the bamboo used in the cutlery set is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council [FSC]. The FSC is an international non-profit that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. However, there is no information about what part of the world the bamboo is sourced from or whether it is grown in the United States. If it is sourced from overseas then carbon emissions will be a problem as they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that are exacerbating climate change.


Next, their website says, “...we only source from the most ethically and environmentally friendly manufacturers”, but then gives no other information. Consumers have no understanding of how the product is manufactured. The location of the manufacturers? What machines are used to build the products? Are the manufacturing plants run on renewable energy, such as solar or water? The only information that they do give to consumers is that Blasso, LLC, located in San Diego, CA, distributes their products. Of course googling the LLC also brings forth no information.

Who makes it:

0.5

Ecovita’s mission is to “…provide [customers] with premium, well-designed products that support practices in line with preserving and nurturing the planet’s resources and natural beauty.” Their website does not provide any information about the history of the company or who created the brand. The company claims to donate 5% of its profits to organizations or programs that make a positive impact on communities and the environment, however, it does not name any specific organizations that their money went towards. I could not find any information about who the manufacturers were or the labor laws that they followed. Ecovita should publicly publish its supply chain, thus demonstrating to its consumers that it only partners with producers, manufacturers, and distributors that enforce ethical labor laws.