The Next-Generation Paper Plate

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By Jaime Gillin / Published by Dwell
I'm currently planning a party (ok, wedding) and have been coming across lots of interesting paper party supplies—including these awesome Gunilla Axén-designed cocktail napkins, which I am unreasonably thinking about shipping from England, and these ubiquitous but very charming paper straws, which I am most definitely ordering. Although we'll likely be serving dinner on proper china, I am tempted by these beautiful paper plates, bowls, and cups by Wasara: the loveliest disposable tableware I've seen.

Designed in Japan by Shinichiro Ogata, Wasara makes the sculptural pieces from 100% tree-free renewable materials, including sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp. They're meant to be used once and then composted.

The Next-Generation Paper Plate - Photo 1 of 5 - The 'compote' bowl shape.

The 'compote' bowl shape.

The forms are organic and almost sensual, with bends and dips designed for cupping in your palm.

The Next-Generation Paper Plate - Photo 2 of 5 - A close-up of the dip in the coffee cup.

A close-up of the dip in the coffee cup.

According to the company's website: "Underlying the spirit of WASARA is the legacy of the Japanese aesthetic and values. Japan has a tradition of incomparable manufacturing backed by reliable skills and technique, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit of hospitality and attention to detail. While WASARA tableware is by design ephemeral, it represents the essence of Japanese tradition and spirit."

The Next-Generation Paper Plate - Photo 3 of 5 - A close-up of the bowl shows its organic, appealingly imperfect shape and tactile quality.

A close-up of the bowl shows its organic, appealingly imperfect shape and tactile quality.

They're available at shops around the U.S. and online. Here in San Francisco, Branch carries them. Packs of 8 to 12 plates range from $9 to $12; 6 bowls cost $12; and 6 wine and coffee cups are $10.

The Next-Generation Paper Plate - Photo 4 of 5 - The plates come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.

The plates come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.

The Next-Generation Paper Plate - Photo 5 of 5 -

Maru's Wasara collection features an array of beautifully designed biodegradable picnic plates, bowls, and cups.