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sustainable tableware made out of waste

in sustainable design

How can tableware have anything to do with waste?

Well, the concept of waste is relative, and the use we make of it these days is quite arguable. In particular, we call things waste way too easily, filling landfills with perfectly functional materials.

To unhinge this wrong perception of waste, let’s look at things from a circular design perspective and pair two apparent opposites: tableware – clean and pristine – and waste.

Here’s a selection of sustainable tableware, all made with non-virgin materials – aka waste! All pieces are sourced from riivin: the sustainable interior design platform I curate.


Let’s start by setting the table. Placemats and coasters are a handy and modern solution. And they can be crafted out of a number of pre and post-consumer materials, including leather offcuts, rubber waste, and even flooring components!

Product selection from riivin:

Sustainable placemats styled on a flatlay.
Credit: LIND DNA
Table set with black recycled rubber placemats.
Credit: Slash Objects
Flatlay of pastel-coloured coasters made with jute waste.
Credit: Atelier LVDW


Serving pieces are meant to add a beautiful backdrop to food delicacies. But what if they salvaged a bunch of waste materials at the same time? The options are wide-ranging: used plastic packaging, trashed PET bottles, dismissed wine barrels…and more!

Product selection from riivin:

Recycled plastic serving trays.
Credit: Weez & Merl
Flatlay of wood trays made with old wine barrels.
Credit: Provence Platters


It’s finally time to sit around the table and enjoy a good meal. Once more, what we use to eat can tell a story; the story of materials that live multiple lives in multiple products!

Product selection from riivin:

Recycled glass water glasses styled on a bar cart.
Credit: Q de Bouteilles
Recycled glass carafe and glasses styled on a table with flowers.
Credit: LSA International
Flatlay of black plates with green food.
Credit: Far & Away

placing sustainable design…on the table

So using waste as a raw material can still yield beautiful tableware!

Besides becoming an interesting game for guests (guess what this is made of?), these pieces bring sustainable design right into everyday life, stimulating unexpected conversations. As tangible evidence of what can be done out of non-virgin materials, they show a creative – and more sustainable – way of using resources. A way that can scratch the current notion of waste and spread appreciation for sustainable options way beyond the niche of design professionals!

For more inspiration, head over to riivin: the sustainable interior design platform I curate!

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