In Italy, design firm Carlo Ratti Associati and energy major Eni are touring a juice machine that turns orange peels into bioplastic cups. Dubbed “Feel the Peel,” the prototype turns the orange peels into filament by drying, milling, and mixing the peels with polylactic acid. After heating, the filament is then used to 3D prints cups. All the steps take place within the 3-meter tall machine, which can hold 1,500 oranges.
Feel the Peel will tour various public places around Italy to raise awareness of the circular economy concept.
“The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells dexigner.com. “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.”