CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Zero Waste Bistro built from recycled food packaging.

12. March 2019 | Waste, Material | via

The concept as a whole provides an example of a circular economy, in which resources are kept and reused for as long as possible. (Credit:

The  Zero Waste Bistro was commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York. According to an article on the temporary eatery builds on the concept created by Helsinki's Restaurant Nolla, billed as the "first zero-waste restaurant in the Nordic region".

Among its aims are to use foods that would typically be discarded, and to reject packaging from supplier, while working with designers, engineers and architects to rethink waste management and water efficiency.

"Our dishes at Zero Waste Bistro in New York will be comprised of local and organic ingredients as well as commonly overlooked byproducts of our food system," said chef Luka Balac in a statement.

Linda Bergroth is responsible for the design of the space, for which she looked to her country's design heritage and its current innovations.

"Finland is really known for its classic design; consumer products, furniture," Bergroth told Dezeen. "But lately it's been more about material innovations. Sustainable food packaging... biodegradable solutions."

To build the restaurant, she chose panels made from recycled Tetra Pak – a packaging material commonly used for milk cartons. The panels are fabricated in batches by ReWall in Iowa, and take their colour from whichever products are processed at the time. In this case, the surfaces have a mottled silver-blue tone from afar, while the text and barcodes from the packaging are visible when looked at up close.