Pausa for thought on plastic cutlery

Ah, I love a bad pun.

Pausa is the name of the cafe in our local Dunelm Mill.

Me and the kids regularly go there with my mum (Nana) as there’s a lot of things to love about this cafe – the staff are lovely, the food and drink is reasonably priced and it’s a bright and airy place to eat. They also have soya milk hurrah!

However, it’s very difficult to avoid disposable plastic there. The kids’ meal deals are a bargain so we always get them jackets and a selection of snacks from the counter. One of the snacks is a yoghurt and there’s a plastic glass full of plastic spoons next to the yoghurts.

I get that the meal deal is one of those ‘fill your own bag’ things so kids feel like they’re having a picnic. But I imagine the majority of children who get these aren’t actually going to have a picnic and are going to sit at one of the tables about three metres away from the kitchen, which houses the precious metal spoons that the cafe doesn’t want to share.

Since trying to ease the neverending guilt of wastefulness I’ve started asking for metal teaspoons for Joni and Evan to eat their jacket potatoes with (a decidedly non-picnic food that’s offered as part of the kids’ meal deal). On two occasions, despite asking for metal spoons, we’ve been given plastic spoons. Both times I have given the plastic cutlery back and asked again for metal.

When we went in for lunch yesterday I asked the waitress for metal teaspoons and she came out with two metal teaspoons, two plastic teaspoons and two plastic forks. Even if we weren’t trying to cut down on plastic, giving a one year old a plastic fork is not good as it’s guaranteed to end up impaled in his sister’s arm or his own eye by the time dinner is done. So I asked the waitress to take the plastic cutlery away as we were happy (and safer) with metal.

I find myself getting incredibly anxious in situations like this, as trying to do my bit for reducing plastic doesn’t sit well with my terribly British and socially awkward, give-me-cutlery-made-out-of-a-turd and I’ll eat with it, attitude).

Plastic spoons
The offending cutlery next to giant latte spoon

Pausa also do delicious smoothies and juices come in plastic cups takeaway cups with plastic straws. Again, I’m pretty sure most people that order these eat them in the cafe, so why not have the option of having a smoothie in a glass instead?

Like the true eco warrior I’m trying to become, I’ve emailed Dunelm and given them feedback about their use of plastic. Who knows if they reply? Who knows if I’ll get a reputation for being a pain in the arse at the cafe?

We shall Pausa for a while and see…

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