A design studio based in London has created a radical concept that could have a phenomenal impact on the way that meals are consumed onboard aircraft, while also reducing the environmental impact of dining. And the extraordinary concept involves trays that can be eaten!
The partially edible trays are constructed from materials such as used coffee grains and husks, alongside food containers made from wheat bran. Plastics are replaced by soluble seaweed, and banana leaves and algae are also combined with rice husk in order to create eco-friendly cups.
It remains to be seen how much this will catch on with airline passengers, but it is certainly a novel concept, and one primarily intended to reduce waste and carbon footprints related to flights.
PriestmanGoode is the designer that can be credited with this idea, with the studio also swapping plastic cutlery for one simple ‘spork’ composed of coconut wood. Another innovation floated by PriestmanGoode is water bottles composed of cork and bioplastic, with a water cooler then provided on board in order to enable passengers to refill flasks while flying.
The innovative trays and cutlery formed part of an exhibition intended to address waste in air travel. Named ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’, the exhibition being held at London’s Design Museum. And the designers are keen to open at the public’s eyes to the amount of waste associated with the travel industry, and airlines in particular.
On the website showcasing its exhibition, PriestmanGoode noted that,
“an estimated 5.7 million tons of cabin waste is generated on passenger flights, from single-use plastic to meal trays and earphones.”
The studio goes on to explain that developments in ecologically-friendly materials, coupled with innovative initiatives from suppliers, could help change consumer behavior in a way that will be extremely positive for the ecology of the planet.
Food is considered to be an increasingly important aspect of the airline experience, and carriers are now taking cuisine far more seriously. For example, Air Asia recently announced a move into the restaurant business, with the CEO of the company keen to serve customers the same food on the ground that they currently offer on-board flights.
Other Carriers, such as American Airlines, have gone to great lengths in order to ensure that their cuisine is of the highest standard possible, with the huge American Airline having partnered with Zoës Kitchen in order to deliver an improved in-flight menu. Zoës Kitchen is particularly associated with healthy and wholesome food, underlining the shifting ethos in airline food.
Meanwhile, Simple Flying reported earlier this year that the size of meals in economy have been reduced in order for airlines to save fuel, and make flying more economical. This can be considered particularly important at a time when the airline industry must answer continual probing questions regarding its carbon footprint.