The Zero-Waste Restaurant

The Zero-Waste Restaurant

The restaurant industry creates a large amount of waste, producing 915,400 tonnes of waste (including 199,100 tonnes of food waste) per year in the UK. Not only does this mean that £682 million is thrown away, equivalent to each restaurant losing 97p per meal, it is incredibly unsustainable. However, one chef has made it his mission to create a zero-waste restaurant in London. The restaurant, headed up by chef Douglas McMaster, is based on a closed loop system. This is not only seen through the food it serves, but also found in the interior decor which features pieces made from biomaterials. 


Design studio Nina+Co created the interiors for the restaurant, with the aim of reflecting the circularity found within the food, and to showcase sustainable alternatives. The designers looked at how each piece would interact within the space by looking at the product’s lifecycle. Creating pieces that can biodegrade or be disassembled for repurposing. One of the most prominent materials found within the space is mycelium. The vegetative part of the mushroom was used to create the furniture found in the bar area of the restaurant, and can also be found in the pendant lights. Other lights include ones created by Ty? Syml from seaweed harvested from the coast of Pembrokeshire which is combined with paper waste.

Biomaterials, and materials created from waste, can be found all around the restaurant. This includes: sustainably sourced English ash dining tables and sideboard made by a local craftsman; wall lights made from crushed wine bottles; and recycled plastic and food packaging on all worktops. While the natural cork flooring is carbon negative, meaning it captures five times more CO2 than in its manufacturing process. Finishing off the space is a menu projected onto the wall to save paper created from menus.


Dishes are served on tableware made from plastic bags to match the restaurants ethical and sustainable approach. All produce sent to the restaurant comes in reusable containers, crates or pails. The produce itself is as sustainable as possible and the majority comes from local producers. Ingredients are not chosen for their looks, instead wonky fruit and vegetables are made into dishes. While meat is prepared from the whole animal, to make sure there is no waste, and butters and milk are made in house. Any waste produced by the restaurant is then fed into an onsite composting machine to go back into the system. 

The Atlantic
Eat Drink Sleep