it’s easy to neglect the shear amount of waste produced by a busy restaurant, but behind kitchen doors, the average eating establishment produces over a ton of waste every week. with this sad realization, the finnish cultural institute in new york, combined with a team of chefs and designers, came up with the world’s first 100% waste-free bistro. this laboratory of food presented at wanteddesign manhattan during NYCxDESIGN contemplates themes of waste and sustainability. 

zero waste bistro
zero waste bistro’s bespoke communal table and table set is made of durat ‘palace’ and designed by linda bergroth
all images by nicholas calcott 



designer linda bergroth crafted a dramatic space within the wanteddesign venue in collaboration with the finnish design shopmade using recycled materials, the zero waste bistro introduces tableware and furniture from iittala and artek. a collage of recycled mediums comes together to form an all-blue bistro — a testament to the idea that one man’s trash can be another’s treasure. ‘I’ve created the dining area as a space within a space, using all sustainable materials,’ says bergroth. ‘the design is like an installation that functions both as a restaurant space and a platform for talks and debate.’

zero waste bistro
the structure is made of rewall naked board, a material made 100% from tetrapak waste



the culinary team comprises chefs luka balac, carlos henriques and albert franch sunyer, who worked at michelin star establishments in helsinki. paired with this radiant interior setting, they composed a tasting menu based on finnish philosophies and using a selection of healthy ingredients. 

zero waste bistro
the durat composite is made of 30% post-industrial materials, natural pigments, and is 100% recyclable



‘it’s time to rethink the way we live, the way we eat and the materials we use,’ says kaarina gould, executive director of the finnish cultural institute. ‘our seas are filled with plastic waste. in the US alone, over 58 billion disposable cups are discarded and sent to landfills every year. what if all of those cups were reusable, compostable or recyclable? what if our everyday packaging was made of plastic-free materials, reducing plastic pollution and toxic microplastics in our soil and water supply. what if we collectively committed to only buying products that we love and that will last a lifetime?’

zero waste bistro
bergroth designed the space with recycled materials in collaboration with the finnish design shop

zero waste bistro
elite chefs and designers came up with the world’s first 100% waste free bistro

zero waste bistro
the space features alvar aalto’s classic artek stools and hand grenade pendants

zero waste bistro
chefs previously worked at a michelin star establishments in helsinki

zero waste bistro
kotkamills, a finnish company, produces take away cups made from a repulpable cartonboard



project info:


location: wanteddesign manhattan
commissioned by: the finnish cultural institute in new york
curators: harri koskinen & linda bergroth
design: linda bergroth
food concept: restaurant nolla, helsinki
photography: nicholas calcott