We use cookies to give you the best personal experience on our website. If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree we may place these cookies on your device. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do , you may lose some functionality on our website . More information can be found in our privacy policy.
Please provide more information.
Stylus no longer supports Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Please upgrade to IE 11, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. This will ensure you have the best possible experience on the site.
Brief Published: 17 Oct 2019

Edible Airline Tableware Eliminates Plastic Waste


Every year, global passenger flights generate 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste (International Air Transport Association, 2019), with each passenger producing an average of 500g of single-use plastic waste per flight. To reduce this environmental hazard, London design studio PriestmanGoode has designed a collection of amenities that swap plastic for compostable and edible materials.

The collection, which is on display at The London Design Museum until next February, includes a reusable tray made from coffee grounds and husks mixed with eco-friendly lignin binder. There are also food containers made from wheat bran, banana leaves and edible wafers, a ‘spork’ manufactured using coconut wood, and a cup made from rice husk and algae.

The design agency has also replaced plastic milk and sauce containers with capsules made from soluble seaweed. All waste items can be sealed inside the main meal lid for efficient disposal.

In addition, to reduce the number of plastic water bottles that passengers impulse-buy at the airport, PriestmanGoode has also designed a reusable travel bottle made from cork and compostable bioplastic, to be sold in airline departure lounges. It envisions in-flight water coolers that enable passengers to easily refill their bottles, an act that would also encourage them to walk around the cabin during the journey.

As pressure ramps up for all brands to eco-proof their services, designers are looking to new material applications that can be rolled out in a mainstream capacity. Read Trans-Industry Ingredients for more on multi-tasking materials.

Read more about recent airline innovations in Elastic Airlines and Flight of the Future. 

Meanwhile, Ethical Travel’s Mainstream Breakthrough examines the relationship between travel and sustainability in great detail, spotlighting best practice industry solutions.