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PriestmanGoode's Zero Wants To Deliver The Circular Economy To Takeout

by Rudy Sanchez on 08/13/2020 | 3 Minute Read

As social distancing has closed restaurants across the world, many establishments and patrons have turned to dining-at-home until it is safe to dine in once again. Unfortunately, doing so usually necessitates the need for take-out packaging, mainly, single-use containers to keep items separated until mealtime. And, of course, much of it is unrecyclable.

Studio PriestmanGoode is looking to create a more sustainable packaging method for takeout and delivered meals with a reusable concept that also makes use of eco-friendly materials made from agricultural waste like discarded cocoa bean shells. The project was conceptualized as part of Wallpaper* Re-Made, which connects top designers, makers, architects, and engineers to design and create thought-provoking projects that can enrich and endure.

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The takeout system is called Zero and found inspiration in Japanese bento boxes and Indian tiffin, consisting of durable food containers that can get stacked on top of each other, requiring a single lid for multiple dishes which fit into a carrier bag. Everything can get washed and reused, and PriestmanGoode envisions having the Zero in a network of restaurants and takeaways while providing an incentive for customers to return the packaging, such as a discount on future orders.

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Zero was developed with designer Paula Nerlich, using her COCOA bioplastic made from discarded cocoa material, as well as design studio T? Syml, the same collective responsible for the mycelium-based takeout bag liner. Additionally, the bag lid makes use of firm Ananas Anam’s Piñatex, a leather alternative made from pineapple leaves.

Other materials used include Yulex, a neoprene-like rubber material, along with studio crafting plastics! own Nuatan biodegradable material, which withstands high temperatures and is made out of corn, sugar, and waste cooking oil. Finally, designer Margarita Talep contributed a cling wrap replacement made from algae.

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“We began this project before the pandemic took hold, with a goal to design takeaway packaging as a desirable object; create something that customers would value and that would lead to positive changes in behavior,” explains Jo Rowan, Associate Director of Strategy at PriestmanGoode, in a press release.

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“This has become even more important now, as there has been a rise in at-home dining, and the concept of "tablescaping"(elaborate, decorative table arrangements ) has moved from social events into the home," she added. "It presents an opportunity for design to create something that can contribute to a sense of occasion, that is beautiful, practical, and sustainable. As a society, we have to move away from a culture of disposables and focus on principles of [the] circular economy."

The Zero project will be on display at the 2021 Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy.

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