There are some difficult decisions that are made over and over again in the realm of industrial design. Two of them exist in tension within this unusually elegant series of ‘paper’ party plates, cups and bowls made with a bamboo/sugarcane hybrid pulp: disposable (wasteful) versus reusable (green) objects and tacky one-time use versus timeless and lasting design.
To be fair, these are made to be thrown away – there is no way to easily wash them for the next time you have dinner guests. However, they are at least constructed thin and made of eco-friendly, fast-growing bamboo and sugarcane waste (the latter of which is often discarded anyway as a production byproduct). Being made of organic materials, it is also possible to compost (or at least recycle) this dinnerware rather than dropping it in a wastebasket.
The various parts and pieces are available for purchase from WASARA supply retails or online in small, medium and large sizes. The plates come in round or square shapes, each with a signature grip handle for easy portability (without excess material). The goods as a whole reflect the Japanese thin-paper tradition embodied in Shoji screens, at once simple yet subtle and stylish.
So are they sustainable? Not, perhaps, as much as some other non-disposable tableware … but as these things go, they are efficient and effective for those occasions on which you want to keep the fine dining plates and utensils tucked out of reach.
“WASARA was born from a desire to design tableware that perfectly complements the dishes you serve and creates a heartwarming and comfortable setting. At the foundation of WASARA is the legacy of the Japanese aesthetic and values: traditional craftsmanship based on incomparable technical skill, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit placing utmost importance on hospitality and courtesy to others. WASARA tableware embodies everything essential for an enriched, fulfilling life.”
“WASARA tableware is fully compostable. People, animals, trees and grasses – in the end we all return to the earth, and from there new life is born again. WASARA, too, was created to be used in moments when people gather, and later cycled back in to nature.”
“In Japan, it is custom to eat using chopsticks, to hold bowls in your hands, and to put your mouth directly on them to eat and drink. Holding a vessel in both hands symbolizes bringing one’s hands together in gratitude for the ingredients within. Experiencing the four seasons and enjoying foods with all five senses – these are important elements of the uniquely Japanese rich yet subtle sensibility and food culture. WASARA, even though it is by design ephemeral, endeavors to encapsulate that spirit.”