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May 27, 2021 3 min read

Want to feel good whilst drinking your Friday cocktail!?

The RE is a Sydney bar working to start conversations about waste and normalise the thought of a circular food and beverage industry, they even have cocktails made from food waste!!

"Everything you touch as a guest is pretty much made from a recycled material - your seat, the tabletop, your glass, your plate" - bar creator Matt Whiley

How is the RE re-using waste?

The coolest part?! You wouldn't even be able to tell you're at a bar operating on waste and recycled materials by looking at it. Here's how they've snuck sustainability into their design:

  • The table-tops, bar top, wall, mezzanine panels and more are made from Replas sheeting. This material is made using plastic milk bottles from Australian waste streams. The amount of bottles RE repurposed and saved from landfill was 66,000
  • Their drink coasters are made by @defy_design from 100% post-consumer plastic waste!
  • Their certified compostable vacuum seal bags are made from cassava root and corn derivatives and blended with copolymer, perfect for storing food with a short shelf life (meat, poultry, cheese and more!)
  • One of their seating options is made from recycled wood and plastic composite
  • Their light shades are made with Mycelium (the root network of mushrooms), which acts as a natural glue to bind biomass together.
  • Normally glassware that gains a blemish or imperfection during production would go to waste, however, the RE saves them and chooses the serve their drinks in imperfect glassware. *woot woot*
  • The 'leather' on the banquettes is made from pineapple leaf fibre.

Hang on... it doesn't stop there! Let's jump over to the menu:

  • A sorbet is made with fermented pineapple skin waste and plum, topped with salt and olive oil
  • One of their cocktails is finished with a sweet syrup made from discarded banana skins
  • Majority of the menu features salvaged food and imperfect produce from direct growers. This includes fresh food that is typically sent to landfill because it is deemed the wrong shape or size. Saving money and waste in the process!

Do they produce any waste then?!

Matt, the bar creator, is the first to admit that they have a long way to go before they can claim they are truly 'zero waste', however, they are certainly doing far more than any other restaurant or bar in Australia!

They have five different bins behind the bar, a general waste bin (which is avoided unless there is no other option), glass and paper recycling bins, an organics bin for the composter, and a bin for reusable cloths, napkins and towels which are washed and re-used. 

The most common item they find in the general waste bin is food packaging, which they are working super hard at finding a way to recycle.

Creating A Circular Community

They want others in the industry to join them on their zero waste mission by holding workshops with other local restaurants and bars to encourage them to recognise their food waste and partner with other businesses that could utilise this 'waste' in their cooking.

Amazing!! This story gives us so much hope for the sustainable transformation of the food and beverage industry. If you live in Sydney or are planning your next getaway there please pop in and support the incredible work these guys are doing. 

You can find them here: wearere.com.au/





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