PEI

P.E.I. students being asked to BYOC: Bring your own cutlery

Since fall 2020, students in P.E.I. schools have been able to pay what they can for a school healthy lunch program — usually, hot meals that require cutlery. Starting in February, they'll be asked to bring their own knife, fork and spoon.

'The most important thing is to reduce'

Island students can bring whatever kind of cutlery they wish to school to eat their healthy lunches. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Since fall 2020, students in P.E.I. schools have been able to pay what they can for a school healthy lunch program — usually, hot meals that require cutlery. 

Since the kids were using single-use plastic cutlery, they were creating a lot of waste that was going into the landfill.

Now, students are being asked to bring their own cutlery.

"What we're trying to do is reduce waste as much as possible. We've been asking students for a while now to bring their own cutlery and now we're just making it official," said Brad Trivers, P.E.I.'s minister of education. 

Feb. 12 will be the last day vendors will provide plastic cutlery with meals.

'Going to make a difference'

"It's about reduce, reuse and recycle, and really the most important thing is to reduce," Trivers said. "We're trying to make sure students realize if you can reduce the plastic that is needed, then that's a big help to the environment.

Many of the healthy school meals, like a chili baked potato, require a knife and fork to eat. (P.E.I.'s Healthy School Food Program/Facebook)

"Every plastic spoon or fork that you save means that much less is going into our waste. That's the lesson here, and I think it's really going to make a difference." 

The cost savings to the vendors will be minimal, he said, because plastic cutlery is very cheap. 

Families are being notified now so they can prepare.

Trivers notes there will be a small amount of cutlery on hand at schools for students who forget. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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