Wenge Wood to the Rescue!

Bamboo cutlery Reusable travel set Jungle Culture

Have you heard that single-use plastics are being banned in England from October?

I have to say that when I heard the news I was jumping for joy! The ban includes plastic plates, trays, bowls and cutlery. And while it’s far from the end of the battle against disposable plastics – wet wipes, I’m looking at you! – it’s definitely a start. Plastic cutlery was in the top 15 most littered items in the UK in 2020, and it takes over 200 years to decompose. To put that in perspective, if they’d had plastic cutlery when Queen Victoria was born, it would be just about disappearing now.

‘But what am I meant to eat my takeaway with now?’ I hear you ask. It’s a good question. While some companies will be replacing their plastic utensils with flimsy wooden ones, it’s not a perfect solution. While low-quality wooden cutlery is biodegradable, there’s still a hidden environmental impact. Because it’s only really made for a single use, producing it wastes a lot of resources, and there’s no way of knowing what trees have been cut down to make it. 

So, what is the most environmentally friendly option? Well, that’s where I come in to save the day!

When I heard about the government’s ban, I set about researching the best reusable cutlery sets that you can take with you wherever you go. Ultimately, I settled on my eco-friendly cutlery set, made with wenge wood. It’s a beautiful hardwood set, complete with knife, fork, spoon, a bamboo straw and coconut fibre cleaning brush, all in an organic cotton bag, so no chemicals sprayed on this set. 

When I first found the set, the manufacturers stated it was made with ebony, but after a while, the description changed to a ‘dark hardwood’. When I asked what this new ‘hardwood’ was, I was horrified to find it was wenge wood. 

I went ape! Wenge is on the endangered tree list, due to mass felling and overuse in the past. I demanded that the company remove the sets from their website. Luckily, though, I was a bit premature in my reaction.

It turns out that the set is made from furniture off-cuts from a local craftsman in Vietnam, so no trees are cut down to produce the cutlery. The Vietnamese government actually have an initiative to support traditional industries like this, so they subsidise the growing of these wenge trees, which have been used in Vietnamese crafts for generations. 

This means that the sets are not only high-quality pieces that will last a lifetime – they’re also ethically produced. One of the benefits of buying sustainable products from an independent seller like me is that I do my research on every item on my site. I’ll make sure you’re not just buying the lesser of two evils. Instead, you’re actively making the world a better place by choosing the best option for the planet. 

If you’re looking to get ahead of the game before the ban comes into place in October, you can buy my wenge wood cutlery set here.

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