Reducing plastic waste

Wooden forks

By Yassine

I wanted to replace plastic forks with wooden forks because that would reduce the plastic waste from the school canteen. I heard that the committee was worried that the kids could break the forks and they would become sharp and splintery, and also the kids might use them as weapons. So I tested a few wooden forks to see how strong they were and if they were sharp and splintery.

The forks I tested were:

  1. Fiesta Green Biodegradable Disposable Birch (packs of 100 only from Nisbets Catering, Fyshwick, $7.04 per 100, GST included)
  2. Kraft Wooden Forks (packs of 12 from CostumeBox, $3.99 per 12, GST included)
  3. Eco Wooden Forks (packs of 25 from CostumeBox, $4.99 per 25, GST included, packs of 100 available for $11.99)
  4. Castaway (packs of 1000, for $60 per 1000, GST included)
  5. Green pack (packs of 1000, for $47.27 per 1000, GST included)
  6. Biome (packs of 25, for $3.00 per 25, GST included)

I also tested plastic forks from the canteen.

This is the method that I used to test how easy it was to break the forks:

First, I got three of each type of fork. Next, I labelled the 9 forks. Then, I measured 80 mm on each of them from the start of the handle. After that, I put the fork on the edge of a table at the 80mm mark. Then I got a 1.5 kilogram weight and hung it on a ‘kraft’ fork number one. Then, I kept adding weights until the fork broke. Next, I recorded how much weight I put on and moved onto ‘kraft’ fork number two. Then, I repeated the first 6 steps but with ‘kraft’ fork number three. After that, I repeated all the steps before, but with ‘eco’ forks. Next, I repeated all the steps before, but with ‘fiesta’ forks. Finally, I broke each of the three types of forks with my bare hands and wrote down how hard it was to break them.

Note: The lid that I used for the weights was 13 grams. I didn’t use the lid for all the weights because some of them could hang by themselves.

This is the data that I collected when I tested the forks:

Test 1 (g)Test 2 (g)Test 3 (g)Average weight (g)Breaking by hand
Eco3013250025002671Moderate hard
Fiesta1713181317001742Really hard
Castaway2200190015001867Really hard
Green Pack1600160016001600Moderate hard
PlasticJust bentJust bentJust bentDidn’t breakJust bent, didn’t break

This is what they looked like when I broke them by hand:

The Kraft forks were feathery and not at all sharp.

The Eco forks were a bit hard and sharp.

The Fiesta forks were quite hard but also kind of feathery.

The Green pack was only a little bit sharp, and a little bit hard to break

The Castaway forks were really soft and feathery and really hard to break

The Biome forks were really sharp and splintery and easy to break.


I think the Castaway forks are better because they are really hard to break by hand, and they are very soft and feathery. I think that the Fiesta forks are the second best because they aren’t very sharp or splintery and they are also hard to break.

The Castaway forks are about 6c each and the Fiesta forks are about 7c each.


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