Trash-Cafe-Newcastle-University-0
Gavin Welch

Eighteen inventive and intrepid graduate students at Newcastle University in England have teamed up with engineers and architects and built a café out of recycled plastic bottles and cardboard. Not only is it made out of neat stuff, the café can also be dismantled quickly, flatpacked, and moved to other locations very easily. So if over-stressed students can’t go out and get coffee, coffee could potentially come to them.

The project is part of an initiative at Newcastle to have design students work with recyclable and sustainable materials. Students are encouraged to think about “upcycling,” taking stuff that would usually be considered useless or trash and turning it into something useful or not trash. Like a café!

How the walls are made.
Newcastle University
How the walls are made.

Yesterday, the café was located in the Fine Arts lobby at the university, dispensing cups of coffee to students at no charge (there’s not a lot of overhead when your storefront is made of garbage). Today, it will be transported somewhere else on campus. Which is good, because after figuring out how to make a café out of trash, these kids look like they could use some free coffee.