Free community cutlery collection aims to reduce use of plastic knives, forks and spoons

Frustrated with the of use of disposable cutlery at parties and other community events, Philippa Von Zeigenweidt started a community cutlery collection that is free for anyone to borrow.

Growing collection has travelled all over Windsor — and even to a wedding in Sarnia

A grassroots effort is hoping to help people in Windsor reduce their use of plastic knifes and forks. 0:34

Frustrated with the of use of disposable cutlery at parties and other community events, Philippa von Zeigenweidt started a community cutlery collection that is free for anyone to borrow.

"I do quite a lot of a food-related things around the community, and I got tired of using plastic knives and forks," she explained. "I had a lot knives and forks lying around in the house, so I started a collection."

Thanks to donations, the collection has grown over the years to include enough cutlery for nearly 100 people.

The collection is stored in dishwasher-safe containers. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The initiative is a popular topic whenever von Zeigenweidt posts about it on social media.

"It's a good example of how sustainability can be something very very small — like I know I'm not going to change the world with this — but it gets people talking," she explained.

The collection, which spent much of the last year at Border City Urban Farms, a new Windsor-based food co-operative, is moving to the downtown offices of Bike Windsor Essex this week.

"If somebody wants to use it, they can just contact [Bike Windsor Essex] and just borrow it," von Zeigenweidt said, adding that while no deposit is required, the cutlery needs to be cleaned before being returned.

The collection has travelled to events all over the region — and even to a wedding in Sarnia.

"The most recent time it was used was actually on New Year's Day," she said.

Grown entirely through donations, the cutlery collection is a mishmash of basic to fancy. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Tap on the player to hear von Zeigenweidt talk about Windsor's community cutlery collection on CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive.

A grassroots effort is hoping to help people in Windsor reduce their use of plastic knifes and forks. Jonathan Pinto met Philippa von Zeigenweidt, the woman behind Windsor's community cutlery collection. 5:18

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.