Turning polystyrene food transportation boxes into stools

Spanish designer Andreu Carulla created a series of stools made from recycled polystyrene food transportation boxes for the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca.

Expanded polystyrene does not biodegrade and is notoriously difficult to recycle. However, the material is a great insulator and therefore often used to keep food warm or cold.

The restaurant El Celler de Can Roca utilises produce from 6 polystyrene boxes per day, which were thrown away afterward. Carulla saw an opportunity to take the restaurants’s zero waste project a step further.

Because the material is so difficult to recycle, Carulla had to come up with a whole new way to reuse it. The process starts with cleaning the boxes and shredding them. The material is then poured and compressed in a hexagonal mould using injected steam. Finally, the resulting stool is coated with an eco-friendly coating in the colours green, brown and pink.

The piece of furniture weighs less than 2 kilograms and is highly durable. One stool is made from one day’s worth of polystyrene. Even though the stools are made in a mould, each one varies in surface texture, so that no two are the same.

The project is part of a series commissioned by El Celler de Can Roca for “Roca Recicla”, their project of achieving a zero-waste restaurant through the use of design.

Photos: Andreu Carulla Studio