To celebrate birthdays of team members at the office, we sometimes bring in a sheet cake. After the party, the cake stays out on the table in the kitchen and when I need an afternoon pick-me-up with my coffee, a piece of cake does the trick.
There is a stack of paper plates in the cupboard next to the table. There is also a drawer full of plastic “silver” ware.
I scoop a little cube of cake on a paper plate, grab a plastic fork and a paper napkin and walk to my office. Depending on how much I need that sugar fix and how big the piece of cake is, I might eat the whole thing in three to six bites. It’s all over in less than a minute.
Then I toss plate, napkin and plastic fork into the trash can next to my desk.
The other day I looked at the fork more closely before I threw it out. It’s amazing how well it is constructed. I wondered how much it cost to make that one fork, to ship it to this country, to stock it at Costco, to deliver it to my office, just so I can use it for a few seconds and three to six bites of cake? Oil is used to make plastic forks.
I use a plastic fork for three bites of cake.
There is a perfectly good silver ware fork in my right desk drawer for just that occasional opportunity to eat, that I do not throw away, but somehow I didn’t think about that when I picked up the plastic fork.
Plastic forks should not even exist on this planet. But they do, because I continue to use them.