Sustainable tableware made out of waste

in Sustainable Design

How can tableware have anything to do with waste?

Well, the concept of waste is relative, and the use we make of it these days is quite arguable. In particular, we call things waste way too easily, filling landfills with perfectly functional materials.

To unhinge this wrong perception of waste, let’s look at things from a circular design perspective and pair two apparent opposites: tableware – clean and pristine – and waste.

Here’s a selection of sustainable tableware, all made with non-virgin materials – aka waste! All pieces are sourced from the – independent and content-driven – sustainable interior design platform I curate, SforSustainable (opened in a new window/tab).

Setting

Let’s start by setting the table. Placemats and coasters are a handy and modern solution. And they can be crafted out of a number of pre and post-consumer materials, including leather offcuts, rubber waste, and even flooring components!

Discover on SforSustainable:

Sustainable placemats styled on a flatlay.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: LIND DNA (opened in a new window/tab)
Table set with black recycled rubber placemats.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Slash Objects (opened in a new window/tab)
Flatlay of pastel-coloured coasters made with jute waste.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Atelier LVDW (opened in a new window/tab)

Serving

Serving pieces are meant to add a beautiful backdrop to food delicacies. But what if they salvaged a bunch of waste materials at the same time?
The options are wide-ranging: used plastic packaging, trashed PET bottles, dismissed wine barrels…and more!

Discover on SforSustainable:

Recycled plastic serving trays.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Weez & Merl (opened in a new window/tab)
Recycled plastic bowl containing fruits.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Guzzini (opened in a new window/tab)
Flatlay of wood trays made with old wine barrels.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Provence Platters (opened in a new window/tab)

Dining

It’s finally time to sit around the table and enjoy a good meal. Once more, what we use to eat can tell a story; the story of materials that live multiple lives in multiple products!

Discover on SforSustainable:

Recycled glass water glasses styled on a bar cart.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Q de Bouteilles (opened in a new window/tab)
Recycled glass carafe and glasses styled on a table with flowers.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: LSA International (opened in a new window/tab)
Flatlay of black plates with green food.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Far & Away (opened in a new window/tab)

Putting sustainable design...on the table

So using waste as a raw material can still yield beautiful tableware!

Besides becoming an interesting game for guests (guess what this is made of?), these pieces bring sustainable design right into everyday life, stimulating unexpected conversations.
As tangible evidence of what can be done out of non-virgin materials, they show a creative – and more sustainable – way of using resources. A way that can scratch the current notion of waste and spread appreciation for sustainable options way beyond the niche of design professionals!

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