Edible Container Conceptual Prototypes

Reducing the use of Styrofoam disposable dishware

Disposable dishware was introduced in the 1950’s. Over the course of the following decades, plastic and foam competed with paper due to a growing demand for disposable products. Today, Styrofoam (PS) plates used in the fast food and catering industries exemplify the kind of non-decompostable product commonly found in landfills, since their recycling offers little economic value to the industry.

Because the average Western consumer produces nearly 4 pounds of garbage every day, the use of disposable dishware remains a great concern. Statistics show that in accordance with contemporary lifestyles, carryout from restaurant shops is rising dramatically. The PS disposable plate is a symbol of our time, as it is still promoting a throw-away culture. Edible plates and containers are a promising solution for the reduction of non-recyclable waste. 

The edible container prototypes commissioned by the Toronto Design Exchange in 2003 for the exhibition Design for the XXI Century explore new ways of serving and handling food proposing a completely new typology of shapes. 

Food-pockets, larger than bite size, inserted into a folded napkin as an alternative to the plate.

The Finger plate is composed of 3 small sequential containers that can easily be broken off in equal portions along a scored line. The middle piece extends into a large semi-circular ring underneath that secures it firmly to one’s finger. 

The Finger bags are destined to replace traditional presentation of finger foods by enabling people to gather 2 or 3 bags to place on their finger at once.

The Fun Food Station is designed for children and aims at eliminating the plate, the glass and utensils all together. The concept suggests a three-part container composed of a vegetable cracker plate made to receive and accompany a sandwich, which sits on an outer ring made out of fruit paste. This ring serves doubly as a container for fruit juices during the meal, and as a desert itself once emptied of liquid. The straw is designed to be made with sweet biscuit dough.

A 3-sided plate is designed for bigger meals with a notch to insert a napkin. The star shape of the plate may easily be broken up into pieces to then be eaten. The plate comes with a small, crunchy multi-purpose cutlery tool designed specifically for the format and as a delicious final to the meal.



Industrial design and research: Diane Bisson
Molding: Untel Tremblay
Research assistant: Annie Beck
Photography: Justin Bisson Beck
Awards: Red dot best new food product, 2013
Publications: Blabla..