There are large juicing machines all over the world that can handle hundreds of individual fruits at once, creating a tasty product in real-time for customers.
Carlo Ratti Associati takes this concept to the next level with their recent invention.
Their prototype machine called Feel the Peel uses the orange peels from the fruit to create bioplastic.
Then customers can use the newly-made cups to hold the liquid that they just purchased.
The Prototype Handles 1,500 Oranges
The company behind this new way to drink orange juice says that the machine can handle up to 1,500 oranges at once.
There is a substantial bin underneath that collects all of the peels.
All of the peels are dried and then milled, before being mixed with polylactic acid.
This combination of factors helps the equipment to form the bioplastic that gets shaped into cups.
An internal 3-D printer finalizes the design of the recyclable product.
The equipment has tested so well that Carlo Ratti Associati is thinking about using the orange peels to create clothing with bioplastic strands one day.
There are several similar projects from this organization that take the same approach.
What Could We Make with Orange Peel Bioplastics?
Orange peels help to make a wide range of usable bioplastic products.
Denny Handley, a design student at Brunel University London, developed a blend of biodegradable products that incorporate this ingredient to create environmentally-friendly packaging materials.
Handley’s material uses industrial juicing waste, vegetable glycerin, water, and bio-polymers that must be baked and dried to create a hard product.
The developer describes the process as being a little like making a cake.
As with the orange juicer that creates bioplastic, Handley’s idea creates an entirely biodegradable option for consumers to use.
The material is rustic and opaque in its final design, so it may not be suitable for selling goods at a grocery store.
Handley says that he envisions farmers and restaurants using it as a way to secure their products.
It is even versatile enough to make a hard surface, like a table.
It can take over 1,000 pounds of compressive strength on some samples.
The future is nearer to us than we might realize.
What we grow to eat could become the foundation of the products we use in the next generation.