Single-use utensils made from plastic are so 2021. The to-go utensil of the future, thanks to a company called Newlight Technologies, is reusable and made from greenhouse gases.
How do you make a fork from pollutants found in the atmosphere? After 10 years of research, Newlight figured it out. The company uses microorganisms in the ocean that convert air and greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, into a biomaterial called PHB. Once the PHB is gathered, it can be melted down to be used to replace materials like plastic, fiber, and leather.
Newlight calls its one-of-a-kind biomaterial AirCarbon, and the company is currently using it to make forks, straws, knives, spoons, and most recently, plates and bowls. Since the process actually draws carbon from the atmosphere, all of the products are carbon negative (one step above carbon neutral!).
Although the products look like plastic utensils you would throw out after using, they can be used over and over again. If the products do somehow end up in the environment, microorganisms in nature can consume and break them down (which cannot happen with synthetic plastics).
AIRCARBON Foodware is now carried nationwide by Target, regionally at Gelson’s, and implemented into Shake Shack locations around the country.