Kosuke Araki turns food waste into tableware
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Kosuke Araki turns food waste into tableware

Tokyo-based designer Kosuke Araki has created a range of tableware from recycled food waste.

The Anima collection features a series of cups, plates and bowls, which Araki made by combining carbonised vegetable waste and "animal glue", from the bones and skin of animal offcuts.

Araki designed the collection to demonstrate the alternatives to throwing away food waste, which is often disposed of in landfills.

RCA graduate Kosuke Araki has created a range of tableware from recycled food waste.
Araki designed the tableware to demonstrate that there are alternatives to throwing away food waste

"Every day, food waste is produced at a huge industrial scale, as well as a small domestic scale," said Araki.

"Although some of it is processed into something useful, most is disposed of in landfills contributing to environmental problems," he explained.

The tableware collection includes bowls, cups, and plates

To create the items Araki collected and recorded the amount of non-ediblefood waste – including rind, peel, calyxes, shells and bones – produced in his house for two years. The total amount weighed 315 kilograms.

He burnt the vegetable waste until it became charcoal, and boiled the animal bones and skin into a glueing agent to mould the charcoal into shape.

RCA graduate Kosuke Araki has created a range of tableware from recycled food waste.
Araki combined burnt food waste and boiled animal bones and skin to make the table wear

Finally,  a thick layer of urushi, a type of Japanese black lacquer, was used to coat the products. "[This] gives not only practical strength but also depth and a polish," said Araki.

"Urushi craft historically has a close relationship with food leftovers of a meal," he said. "For example, rice, tofu or albumen is mixed with urushi to adjust its viscosity for making sticky glue."

RCA graduate Kosuke Araki has created a range of tableware from recycled food waste.
The designer collected his waste for two years to demonstrate the amount of inedible food waste produced by households

Anima is on show at Food Revolution 5.0 Design for the Society of Tomorrow at Kunstgewebemuseum in Berlin between 18 May and 30 September

Several designers are now taking to using unusual materials in their products. Examples include Roza Janusz who made an alternative to plastic food packaging, using a combination of bacteria and yeast, while a team of UK scientists have developed a biodegradable construction material made from desert sand.