Zero Waste Community Cafe Built With Recycled Bottles & Milk Cartons!

Mar 31, 2023by Olivia Harper - F&F

A community cafe based in Bangkok, Thailand, was constructed with materials that were either recycled or diverted from landfill! The cafe also has a social mission to spread awareness about recycling and zero-waste principles within the neighbourhood — let’s take a look!

Cafes Are Much More Than Just A Place For Coffee & Food

Cafes are much more than just a place to grab a coffee or a snack. They serve as a hub for catching up with friends, a gathering spot for locals, and even a place for students and remote workers to get some tasks done. The all-purposing benefits that a coffee shop can offer means that it may even become the model of universities, retail shops, and offices of the future!

Over in Bangkok, Thailand, a local architecture and interior design firm, Space+Craft, has created a unique community cafe called Early BKK, a space that’s designed to encourage socialising and work! This cafe is constructed using materials that were either recycled or diverted from landfill, with a social mission to spread awareness about recycling and zero-waste principles within the neighbourhood.

Image: Thanapol Jongsiripipat

This Community Cafe Is Built From Reused Waste Materials!

Space+Craft explains that “Early BKK started with a strong intention and passion of [cafe owner] Kaytita Chaisuksiri, to create a community cafe with truly green and sustainable concepts in her neighbourhood… Unlike most of the cafes and retail businesses which always think about making profits, Early BKK on the other hand thinks about how to introduce recycling and green concept and lifestyle to visitors and neighbours.”

The new cafe is now a two-story building on the corner of a quiet intersection and covered with eye-catching, permeable skin made out of metal and over 600 recycled bottles that were found nearby! Sustainable and beautiful, the translucent bottle design casts stunning patterns of shaped light throughout the day.

Image: Thanapol Jongsiripipat

From Multipurpose Spaces To Tables Made From Milk Cartons, Early BKK Has Thought Of It All

You will find bottles reused all throughout the building, with some even transformed into one-of-a-kind door knobs! There’s even a galvanized iron oil tank made into a countertop for the bathroom. On the second floor, there’s a seating area for customers to sit, which also serves as a multipurpose space for community workshops!

The tables and benches have been built out of a composite material that is entirely made out of reclaimed milk cartons, selected in various warm orange tones, to match the colour scheme of the handmade bricks lining the floor.

In addition to this stunning & sustainable design of the building itself, the community cafe also follows earth-friendly practices, such as not offering plastic straws or plastic cups, carefully separating waste, and offering a discount when customers bring their own mug!

Image: Thanapol Jongsiripipat

Early BKK is truly an inspiring showcase of how functional and captivating upcycling waste can be. Locals may visit just for a coffee, but they will definitely walk away with new a mindset around the zero-waste and recycling concept!

What do you think about this community cafe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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