Put Down the Plastic, Pick Up the Steel - Learn more about recycling

By Team Ahimsa



Time to Read: 5 min

Plastic vs. Steel Recycling

Did you know that only 9% of all the plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling? However, approximately 90% of end-of-life stainless steel is collected and recycled into new products. An average stainless steel object is composed of about 60% recycled material. Stainless steel is one of the world’s most recycled materials - more than paper or glass. 

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

Want to know more? Check out our story and our products

Did you know that only 9% of all the plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling?

As parents, we all want our children to be healthy. But, as adults, it's important to recognize that a healthy planet is important for healthy kids. We only have one Earth and it's our job to protect it for the generations of kids ahead. Our children learn from us and are capable of understanding so much at even the youngest of ages! Set examples, have discussions and work together with your kids to be a team that champions sustainability efforts.

We know that using Ahimsa products at your dining table is just one of the many ways to decrease the plastic footprint on our planet. Click on the National Geographic KIDS VS PLASTIC certificate below for tips to reduce your plastic use. Your child can even pledge to be a planet protector and receive their very own Certificate of Heroism! Team Ahimsa earned ours by pledging to decrease our use of single use plastics. So, go on ... grab your superhero capes and join us. Cheers to a Happy, Healthy Planet!

To see more of the staggering statistics surrounding plastic pollution, read GREENPEACE's "Key Facts About Plastic Pollution." It's a great breakdown of all the terrifying facts regarding plastic and its devastating effects on Earth. It also lists many links to the reference data. UN News also has an alarming breakdown of just how much plastic is polluting our ocean waters. More microplastic particles in the sea than stars in the Milky Way. 500 times more! That's scary. 

Alternatives to Plastic Dishware

More microplastic particles in the sea than stars in the Milky Way. 500 times more! 

To learn more about stainless steel and Ahimsa, visit our FAQs and to see our 100% metal product line, please see our Collections.


Key Facts About Plastic Pollution

UN News

British Stainless Steel Association 

The Steel Recycling Institute

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Steel Mealtime Essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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