Smile Plastics turn waste to wonder

The bar is topped with Grey Mist – in another life it was plastic packaging

As a zero-waste restaurant, it was only natural that owner Douglas McMaster of Silo in London wanted furniture and fittings that fit in with this ethos. They are so committed to sustainability that butter is churned on site, wheat is ground into flour and oats are rolled – even the drinks are fermented from live cultures on the premises. Produce delivered to the restaurant arrives in reusable vessels, and the natural waste is turned into compost.

Nina Woodcroft at Nina + Co led the interior design and specified that only recycled materials were to be considered. This led to a collaboration with Smile Plastics. Based in Swansea, Smile Plastics has been in business for more than 30 years and takes pre- and post-consumer waste including discarded packaging and chopping boards – even white goods – and turns them into architectural panels and aesthetic surface products in its own factory.

For this project, a bar top next to the open kitchen was to be the focal point and was created with Smile Plastics’ ‘Grey Mist’ while a private dining table features multicoloured ‘Kaleido’. Other tabletops are monochromatic in design and showcase ‘Charcoal’ with white flecks.

Smile Plastics also created chopping boards, splashbacks, a host stand, mirror frame and coat hooks for the restaurant. This blend of textures and tones creates a relaxing ambience and showcases the versatility of recycled materials.

On completion of the project, Smile Plastics co founder, Rosalie McMillan, said: “Working with Silo restaurant was a dream come true for us. When we meet likeminded brands that share so deeply in our vision, it fills us with excitement for the future. What the team at Silo have achieved is truly amazing – a fantastic example of how the circular economy can be fully adopted with no impact to commerciality. We’re extremely proud to have our materials in the space.”


Smile Plastics' Earth Collection
Smile Plastics

Smile Plastics' Earth Collection

Inspired by nature

Smile Plastics recently launched a new range called Earth Collection inspired by the intricate patterning found in the fine detail of solid natural matter and the landscape close to its factory in the Welsh countryside.

“Like our belief in celebrating imperfections, each recycled plastic surface tells a story of transformation. These stories are woven into the hues of Mawn, the calm balance of Brecon, the nod to our heritage in Slate, Quarry, Limestone, and the poetic mysticism of Grey Mist; all showcasing the nuanced charm of the Welsh landscape. By incorporating these surfaces, you not only bring nature indoors but also contribute to a healthier, circular manufacturing process – a crucial step for our built environment's sustainability,” says Rosalie.

The six colours are:

  • Mawn – with earthy hues reminiscent of the peatlands of the Welsh countryside.
  • Brecon – has a speckled base palette of golden yellow, light greys and white, giving off a calming, natural aesthetic, which subtly evokes the outdoors and casts the mind to the soft reeds that line the Severn’s riverbank.
  • Slate – reminiscent of slate quarries and caverns rooted in Smile’s Welsh heritage, the new Slate material comprises a palette of deep mossy green with glimmers of white.
  • Quarry – with a visual appearance somewhere between lava and volcanic sediment, this material is reminiscent of the sea-soaked beach at Black Rock Sands. It also has fire-like elements and the lighter specks glinting through hint at the materials’ former life
  • Limestone – the Limestone material offers a pared back beauty – slightly rugged and weather-beaten – just like the boulders you might expect to find atop the remote peaks of the Brecon Beacons or The Black Mountain range.
  • Grey Mist – previously in the Smile Plastics’ Classic range, Grey Mist has moved into the Earth Collection as it was inspired by walks in the Welsh hills.

Materials are available in 3000mm x 12000mm and 1500mm x 1200mm sheets, in 5, 12 and 20mm thicknesses.