These disposable plates and bowls by Simi Gauba are made from a material called bagasse. A natural by-product of sugar production, it’s both compostable and renewable. Not only is the material 100% biodegradable, but is also readily available – an important factor in determining it’s eco-credentials.

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(Image: simidesign.blogspot.co.uk)

Bagasse products represent greener alternatives to materials such as Styrofoam (which can take thousands of years to degrade) or wood pulp as they require minimal chemical treatment at the end of their life. Once disposed of, the designer claims they’ll be fully absorbed by the earth in just 8 weeks.

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(Image: simidesign.blogspot.co.uk)

So, that’s a big tick in the ‘function’ box then. However, to make sustainable products viable, they need to look better than existing alternatives. The designer has understood that audiences won’t always sacrifice form for sustainability. Inspired by pebbles, this solution has an organic form that is achieved without adding the harmful dyes commonly found in petroleum-based foams.

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(Image: A’ Design Award and Competition)

On paper then, this product not only competes with plastic and wood pulp based products, it’s better in both form and function. As well as being guilt-free, it’s great looking – our kind of product!