Juice bar makes bioplastic cups from orange peels

International design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati has developed an experimental orange squeezer that 3D-prints bioplastic cups from orange peels.

The “Feel the Peel” project was completed in partnership with global energy company Eni with the aim to bring circularity to everyday life. The juice bar turns squeezed oranges into a filament that is dried, milled, and converted into a bioplastic by combining the substance with polylactic acid. The plastic is then printed into recyclable cups that can be used to drink fresh orange juice.

The 3.1-metre-tall prototype, topped with a dome filled with 1,500 oranges, will start touring public spaces around Italy over the coming months.

 “The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” said CRA founding partner and MIT director of the senseable city lab Carlo Ratti which designed system which makes bioplastic cups from orange peels. 

“Working with Eni, we tried to show circularity in a very tangible way, by developing a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. The next iterations of Feel the Peel might include new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing from orange peels.”

The project is among a series of collaborations between CRA and Eni exploring circularity and design.


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