Last day, I spoke with a friend of mine about making a sustainable-based business. He told me he has a friend who has a business project : selling disposable forks and knives made with organic raw materials, and thus “non poluting” products.

Great for the sustainable development ! Indeed, those organic forks and knives are :

– biodégradable because made out of corn.
– oil economical (because no plastic material made with petrol)
– Less polluting

First, we can think that this business is great for the environment as it seems less polluting than traditional disposable forks and knives. But after some reflection, I think that this business has some fallout. Indeed, imagine that we need 1 square meter of cultivated corn to make one disposable fork. The latter should have been used to feed people rather than for an industrial transformation like this.

Besides, I discovered a report on the Mosanto company which use lobbyisme and pressure over corn producteurs to impose their transgenic corn. Thus, the side effects of this are :

– Soumission of corn producters to the Mosanto policy (social negative consequence)
– Soil erosion due to the monoculture of corn (weak havoc the environment)
– Pollution by pesticide and insecticide (weak havoc the environment)
– Deforestation to conqueer more and more places to cultuvate this corn used for industry and not for food (negative consequences over the environment)

By doing so, to produce millions of disposable forks, we would need millions of square meters of corn which involves all the drawbacks cited before. Even if those forks seems ecological, their mean of production shows the contrary.

This thinking shows me that we need to think not only about the product himself to know if a product is sustainable or not, but also how this product is made. Besides, about those forks, to make them ecological, why not recycle them instead of making them from another raw material ?

If you want to red ths article in French, just visit my Pourquoi entreprendre blog 😉