A cafe made from recycled waste news
18 April 2013

Experts at Newcastle University have taken 'upcycling' to a whole new level by creating a café entirely from waste.

Using everything from plastic drink bottles to cardboard boxes, a team of engineers, architects and social scientists have spent three months creating a café where everything except the coffee is recycled.

Designed to challenge the perception of waste as well as explore new ways of creating sustainable buildings, the new pop-up café is the brainchild of civil engineers Professor Stephanie Glendinning and Dr Mark Powell and director of architecture Graham Farmer.

''Upcycling is about taking material that would normally be considered waste and turning it into something of value,'' explains Dr Powell. ''The question is how do we encourage people to think and behave differently towards food and product packaging?

''It's already happening in areas such as the fashion industry but we wanted to see if we could take it up a scale and use what we would normally throw away to create a sustainable structure which not only raises awareness but also triggers discussion and motivates change.

''In other words,'' adds Farmer, ''The café itself – from the plastic bottle chairs and the cardboard box walls to the recycled plastic bag aprons being worn by the staff – will stimulate conversation and hopefully a change in mindset about what is and isn't waste.

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A cafe made from recycled waste