New Delhi: Who said cardboards are only for packaging? Welcome to India’s first cardboard café made entirely from recycled cardboard. From the interiors to furniture, light fixtures, signage, menu card, and cutlery boxes, in this out-of-box Café, everything has been made using cardboard. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai, this café boosts the usage of eco-friendly products and recyclable materials with the primary objective of making people aware about the concept of ‘Living in harmony with the environment’ is possible. In total, the café is made out of 40,000 square feet of cardboard.
Conceived and designed by architect Nuru Karim of NUDES, this Mumbai café was founded by 32-year-old chef-turned author, Amit Dhanani who was always inspired to open his own restaurant with his own rules – sustainability and one which promotes vegan food.
Speaking to NDTV about this unique café, Amit said,
Cardboard is a very under-valued product, people think it can be only used for shifting homes or packaging different things. But, cardboard really is an environment buddy – it is 100% recyclable and is primarily made up of 50% air. Moreover, it is also very cost-effective, durable, lightweight, insulating and exhibits excellent sound absorption properties making it extremely acoustic-friendly. And through this café the idea was just to promote the concept of using cardboard in our daily life – upcycle it or recycle it. There are thousands of things one can really do with the mighty cardboard.
Amit Dhanani added that it took the entire team a total of seven months to plan and design the restaurant and around three to four months for construction. The material used in the café was tested through vigorous prototyping to address functionality and durability.
He further explains,
All the tabletops have been wax laminated to prevent water or food from affecting the material – cardboard. Moreover, at the restaurant we ensure a zero-waste chain is followed – in terms of food or products. We have also eliminated the use of plastic items from the restaurant and we are very specific of what goes into the dustbin.
In addition to being an eco-friendly restaurant, this place also specializes in serving meals that are organic and made using locally-sourced ingredients. Amit Dhanani adds that the menu has been inspired from all his past travels and is a mix of European cuisine with the essence of south Indian flavours.
It is important to imbibe the message that Amit is trying to put out there with his restaurant. Think before you discard anything and explore if there is a way to put the waste to some productive use. Unless everyone starts to cut back and start generating less garbage, the crisis where the world is drowning under the weight of the waste generated by humans will only get worse.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.