Rubbish Cafe Lets People Pay For Their Food With Recyclable Plastic Waste

This pop-up café let people pay for their food with garbage — no money was required.

When visitors came in bringing their plastic waste, the café rewarded them with a free meal and coffee. It’s called the Rubbish Café and it only took plastic waste that’s recycled, and not those that go to a landfill. The café also educated people on recycling.

“I think the problem with single-use plastics is that we’ve created a material that lasts for thousands and thousands of years in the environment, but it has no value anymore to people,” explained Ecover Global Innovation Lead Tom Domen. “We want to question that idea of single-use and throwaway culture and give value back to something which is now considered as rubbish.”

8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced throughout history — 60% of it ended up as waste and more than three quarters of plastic waste goes into landfills. The Rubbish Café opened as a pop-up in London in May 2018. The café was from Ecover, a cleaning product producer. The promotion was part of the company’s “Clean World Revolution.” It’s aiming for all its packaging to be made from 100% recycled plastic and 100% recyclable by the end of 2020.