“The idea came from the fact that I read about Europe wasting 90 million tons of food every year and at the same time producing around 30 million tons of waste from single-use dishes,” Gollackner told Dezeen.
“So I thought about ‘connecting’ these two issues and trying to make new materials out of food waste,” she added.
To create the tableware items, the studio gathered food waste, such as pork skin and old bread, from personal and industrial waste.
The waste is either dried out or cooked, depending on the food, and blended into a smooth paste that is bound together by mycelium. Sometimes water or additional food items, such as more breadcrumbs, are added to the mix.
The paste is then inserted into the printer and, with the help of chef and food designer Peter König, 3D-printed into simple shapes.
Aubergine-coloured teaspoons, moss green cups and beige bowls form part of the resulting minimalist collection, which Gollackner says can be used either once or multiple times.
“The designs had to be super simple shapes – we are just in the middle of the process and we are still experimenting with the right consistency of the printing paste – the designs can not have any supercomplicated shapes, it wouldn’t be possible to print,” Gollackner explained.
Gollackner designed the collection to demonstrate that there are alternatives to throwing away food waste, which is often disposed of in landfills.
“One way we use the waste that we produce ourselves, on the other side we use industrial food waste, like pork skin,” she said.
“There are huge amounts of pork skin thrown in Austria by the meat industry,” the designer continued.
Several designers are now using food waste to produce sustainable items, including Alice Potts, who mixed food waste with flowers found in public parks in London to create a series of bioplastic face shields.
Elsewhere, Eindhoven University of Technology graduate Elzelinde van Doleweerd created food products 3D-printed from leftover food.
Waste Ware – Products made from Food Waste is on display at the Vienna Design Week headquarters location as part of Vienna Design Week, which takes place from 24 September to 3 October 2021. See Dezeen Events Guide for all the latest information you need to know to attend the event, as well as a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.
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