Apparently one way to make the Earth greener may be to drink a cup of milk. No, not a cup filled with milk, but a cup made of milk. London-based product designer Tessa Silva-Dawson has created a collection of cups, bowls, and vases made out of milk proteins, titled, appropriately enough, "Protein".
These products are pretty amazing as far as eco-friendliness goes. For one thing, they're one hundred percent biodegradable, so you won't find one of these cups in a landfill. Also, they are almost entirely waste-free. Silva-Dawson uses the skim milk that often goes to waste in manufacturing butter and cream products. As she told Design Indaba, "The project...does not suggest a mass increase in dairy production, but instead proposes the utilisation of a commonly wasted and widely available raw material."
To create her biodegradable plastic, Silva-Dawson uses a protein called casein, commonly found in milk and vegetable products. Using casein to make plastics isn't a new idea—it's over a century old—but these days it's much more common to find oil-based plastics. Silva-Dawson uses a casein formaldehyde pulled from milk curds. Kind of like making cheese, if the cheese was a cup you could drink out of.
These eco-conscious containers aren't Silva-Dawson's first clever drinkware creation. She's also created wine glasses that explore the sound dynamics of clinking for a toast. When she's not making containers that make us reconsider our daily drinking experience, she makes some really nice knives and spoons too. For more, you can follow Tessa Silva-Dawson on Twitter and check out her site.