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Shopper calls out grocery store for selling wasteful item: 'Why is this even a product?'

Just because a product is compostable doesn't mean it can't take up space in a landfill.

Just because a product is compostable doesn't mean it can’t take up space in a landfill.

Photo Credit: iStock

Many stores have wasteful practices like throwing out excess inventory when an item isn't selling well. But sometimes, entire products are wasteful and unnecessary from the beginning. That's what one Redditor thought when they found disposable cutting boards in their local grocery store aisle.

What happened?

The user posted a photo of their find in r/Anticonsumption, a subreddit dedicated to minimizing waste. "Disposable single use cutting boards: LMFAO," they said.

Just because a product is compostable doesn't mean it can't take up space in a landfill.
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo shows a display of Dixie Ultra cutting boards, which look similar to the company's paper plates in construction and cost $3.25 a package. The packaging celebrates the "two fun colors inside!" and the supposedly cut-resistant design. It also says that the cutting boards make cleaning easy and prevent cross-contamination.

"For less than that, you can get a cutting board that will last you 15 years at least," said one commenter.

Why is a disposable cutting board a bad idea?

On the surface, cleaning up easily after food prep sounds like a possible benefit, but that promise seems too good to be true. Dixie products tend to be made of paper, which wouldn't hold up well to sharp blades and wet ingredients.

"If they are disposable, what are they made from? Cardboard?" asked one commenter. "Why is this even a product?"

In another comment, the original poster confirmed, "They are made of thin paper."

In other words, they'd likely end up with holes that would let the mess onto your table or countertop.

Not only that, but if the cutting board was damaged, small fragments of the cutting board material would get into the food. That's a little gross if it's just paper, but depending on what's used to make the dish water-resistant, it could mean users are eating wax or microplastics.

Finally, buying and throwing away disposable items every time you want to prepare a meal dramatically increases the amount of money you spend and the material going to the landfill, which is hard on the environment. A single wood cutting board would last longer, perform better, require fewer materials, and save you money in the long run.

What is Dixie doing to reduce waste?

To Dixie's credit, the company says that Dixie Ultra products like this cutting board are designed with the environment in mind. They're compostable and made from trees that are replanted after the previous generation is harvested.

What can I do to reduce paper waste?

Just because a product is compostable doesn't mean it can't take up space in a landfill. You need to do your part to get it into a compost pile when you're done with it, either at your home or at a larger facility.

Ideally, though, use reusable products instead of single-use ones to save money and reduce your environmental impact.

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