Is it safe to recycle plastic eating utensils?

Pamilya OnGuard

Posted at Mar 07 2017 12:34 AM | Updated as of Aug 30 2017 05:17 PM

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Many people think that reusing plasticware is just as safe as reusing silverware. 

But a health expert warns that improperly washed disposable cutlery could host disease-causing bacteria, and that using ordinary dishwashing soap may not be able to kill off germs completely.

Take it from the experience of Rubylyn Rubiso, a mother, who suspects that her one-year-old son got sick because of using contaminated plastic utensils. 

“Iyak s’ya nang iyak noon tapos hinahawakan n’ya ‘yung tiyan n’ya. Pina-check up namin s’ya tapos ‘yun nga ‘yung result na may diarrhea daw s’ya,” Rubiso said.

According to an online community of experts, children under the age of five are at higher risk of getting foodborne diseases. This is because their immune systems are still developing, and they also produce less stomach acid responsible for killing harmful bacteria. 

Dr. Benigno Glenn Ricaforte, president of the Philippine Society for Microbiology, Inc., explains that disposable utensils are magnets for bacteria because it is harder to remove pathogens of cooking oils in this kind of kitchen item. 

This is why Ricaforte recommends using a dishwashing soap with antibacterial property to not just remove dirt in kitchenware, but to also kill off bad bacteria that cause sickness. 

“Mas mainam pa ring gumamit tayo ng antibacterial dishwashing liquid upang masiguro natin na ang mantika ay maalis at malinis ang mga kasangkapan na gagamitin, lalo na ng mga bata,” Ricaforte said.