Self-Cleaning Plate Made Of Cellulose Could Make Dishwashers Obsolete

By Gabrielle Jonas on December 19, 2013 3:10 PM EST

Two Stockholm-based companies, design studio Tomorrow Machine and research company Innventia, which contrives products based on forest raw materials, developed two cellulose-based products: a "self-cleaning" cup and plate made ​​completely out of cellulose. Cellulose is an insoluble substance that is the main constituent of plant cell walls, and thus vegetable fibers. Most importantly, the plate and cup have a super-hydrophobic coating which rejects water and dirt, so that they never need washing, according to Tomorrow Machine's website, making it "a product that not only saves resources during manufacture, but also when it is used because it does not need water and chemicals to be kept clean."

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There are other ways in which the companies are endeavoring to develop sustainable products. Tomorrow Machine thought it was unreasonable for a milk carton to take several years to decompose, when the milk it contains goes sour after only a week. So the design company came up with a food packaging that has the same short life-span as the foods they contain. "The package and its content is working in symbiosis," the company said on its website. One of the many substances Innventia is experimenting with is beeswax.

Beeswax is one of the many natural substances being used by Innventia to create packaging that doesn't last much longer than the products they contain.
Beeswax is one of the many natural substances being used by Innventia to create packaging that doesn't last much longer than the products they contain.
This smoothie container, developed by two Swedish companies, begins to degrade shortly after it has been emptied, making it a more sustainable choice than conventional containers.

The smoothie container begins to degrade the fifth day after being emptied.
This smoothie container, developed by two Swedish companies, begins to degrade shortly after it has been emptied, making it a more sustainable choice than conventional containers.


Another collaboration between the two companies gave rise to the "sustainable expanding bowl," which saves space in transportation by being compressed — made out of a 100 percent bio-based and biodegradable material. When hot water is poured into the package, the material reacts to the heat and transforms from a compressed package to a serving bowl.

With the addition of hot water, this bag of noodles expands into a bowl of noodles.
With the addition of hot water, this bag of noodles expands into a bowl of noodles.


Earlier this year, the two companies won a Dieline Package Award for their collaboration in a package which opens itself in the oven when it's fully cooked and ready to be served.

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