New edible in-flight meal tray designed for plane journeys

Edible airline meal tray
Edible airline meal tray Copyright PriestmanGoode
Copyright PriestmanGoode
By Maeve Campbell
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A design studio has come up with an innovative alternative to the usual on-board meal trays served on flights.


London-based design firm PriestmanGoode has launched a sustainably made in-flight meal tray meant for passengers, as part of its ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’ project. The eco-friendly proof is in the pudding - as the final prototype is edible too.

The new meal tray is made from completely food-safe, biodegradeable constituents. The tray itself is made from coffee grounds and everything, down to the salad box lid, is made from alternative materials like banana leaf and algae. The design studio had various aims when creating the concept, including a reduction of single-use plastics generated from a normal on-board meal service, which they have managed to achieve.

Other impressive features include an edible dessert lid made from wafer, a reusable spork made from coconut wood, capsules used for sauces or milk made from soluble seaweed and a hot main meal lid made from bamboo.

Edible airline meal trayPriestmanGoode

“While there is currently no perfect solution, this design proposal aims to encourage suppliers and airlines to rethink the meal service in a more eco-friendly manner, particularly ahead of legislation to ban single-use plastic, which in some countries is proposed for as early as 2021,” says Jo Rowan, Associate Strategy Director at PriestmanGoode, in a press release.

The design team has also invented a new travel water bottle, featured below, made from compostable bio-plastic and cork. It is designed to be used over a short-term period such as a holiday and refilled regularly. 

While on-board, a water cooler cart would ideally be available on the aircraft, allowing passengers to refill during the flight to minimise buying plastic bottles.

Get Onboard: Reduce.Reuse.Rethink at London's Design Museum

PriestmanGoode specialises in industrial design for the transport and aviation sectors, with a particular focus on environmental innovation. Its newest exhibition at the Design Museum in London explores the issue of waste in travel and looks at how developments in eco materials can make the industry more sustainable. 

Materials include Econyl, a regenerated nylon yarn made from salvaged fishing nets, seaweed yarn and some you may not have heard of like pineapple wood and Tasman recycled glass.

According to statistics on their website, an estimated 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste is generated on passenger flights every year, from single-use plastic in amenities kits, to meal trays and earphones. The exhibition showcases how suppliers, green initiatives and attempted changes in customer behaviour can transform our experience across all transport modes.

Jo Rowan concludes, PriestmanGoode want to “raise awareness of how much waste is created when we travel, and explore alternatives that address the supply of products and services, but also what each individual can do to lead us to a more sustainable travel industry.”

Get Onboard: Reduce.Reuse.Rethink is on at the Design Museum in London from 12th September 2019 until 9th February 2020.

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