A twist of a fork for our planet

 

At EXKi, cutlery is a no small matter. And whether it’s made from plastic, stainless steel, or even from potatoes; we want to help you see things more clearly...

 

EXKi and planet-friendly cutlery: our story

At EXKi, nature is at the heart of everything we do, not just the food on our plates. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our packaging. This is how our #LessWasteTogether scheme came about, with the aim of seeking more eco-friendly packaging solutions. Every day, we pool our ideas and make the most of them to find sustainable solutions.

Cutlery is a key component of fast food. But should it be disposable or reusable? Well, that’s a story in itself...

 

At first, EXKi used wooden cutlery, naturally.

Since our first EXKi restaurant opened in 2001, we have been committed to offering eco-friendly and practical solutions for our customers. So we were one of the first to offer wooden cutlery to our customers.

Sadly, it was perhaps early days for this option. The products available on the market were not yet ideal and did not meet your expectations. This is why we decided to start using plastic cutlery instead.

 

What happened next? Brand new alternatives!

In 2007, we decided to start using an unexpected material: potato starch. This new cutlery was made from PLA: Polylactic Acid, derived from potato starch. In theory, this alternative seemed ideal. It met our environmental standards and seemed to satisfy our customers. But in hindsight, and based on the independent studies we carried out with CO2logic[XX1]  (a carbon offsetting label), we realised that the arguments put forward by the manufacturers of PLA cutlery do not stand up to scrutiny. The energy used to extract and produce this cutlery is in fact very carbon intensive. In addition, the material can only be composted on an industrial scale, within a biomethanisation plant. Since neither the restaurant nor the customer could guarantee that this cutlery would fully biodegrade, its environmental benefit was obsolete. Upstream, PLA is hardly carbon-neutral, while downstream its recycling process (into methane) is also very energy-intensive. So we decided to abandon this idea and go back to plastic.

In 2016, we reconsidered the idea of using polystyrene again, in its most lightweight form, to reduce our environmental impact. We have been awarded the ‘Carbon Neutral’ label from CO2logic, certifying that we offset our CO2 emissions. But we still wanted an all-natural solution. This is why in 2019 we decided to return to our original idea, offering FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council – an environmental label that aims to ensure sustainable forest management) wooden cutlery in our restaurants. Manufacturers have made great progress in recent years, and now offer us much more satisfactory solutions in terms of texture and taste.

 

What is EXKi doing today?

Through our #LessWasteTogether scheme, which aims to reduce our everyday waste and promote planet-friendly packaging, we have decided to opt for a more sustainable solution.

From now on, stainless steel cutlery will be available for our customers in our restaurants. We believe the best way to reduce our waste is not to create any. Offering reusable cutlery means limiting our environmental impact.

FSC©-certified wooden cutlery is still available for customers buying food to takeaway.

But that's not all! Our stainless steel cutlery is also available for sale at just 1 euro for an entire set!

What’s more, at EXKi, we reward each eco-friendly action: you can bring your own bags, cutlery, mugs and cups to our restaurants... By doing so, you earn points on your Green Card https://www.exki.be/fr/la-green-card 

And just like that, with a twist of a fork, we can help our planet!