Pakistani entrepreneur gaining ground for renewable cutlery

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In Karachi, food-packaging entrepreneur Sameed Anis is looking to fill an unmet need in Pakistan for safer, biodegradable cutlery.

“The problem arose when, whenever I saw myself giving plastic to someone, I felt it was wrong because plastic is not good for health,” Anis tells Geo.tv at Karachi Eat 2020. Studies have shown that dangerous chemicals can leach out of plastic, particularly when heated. “So, your food becomes cancerous; to save one rupee, you turn a Rs100 biryani into a cancer,” Anis adds.

Despite being more expensive, Anis is finding success for his ECOPACK renewable single-use items. “I started from one restaurant and, today, 25 restaurants buying [eco-friendly cutlery] from me.”

At Karachi Eat, however, he is giving away his cutlery for free to help raise awareness. “Now I wish that people become aware and tell restaurant-owners that they’re giving them bad-quality items, which are not good for either health or the environment,” he says. “When people ask for it [there’s demand], the restaurant-owners will find it feasible to spend on eco-friendly cutlery.”