There is hope for our planet’s survival yet. Innovative products are being designed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel, plastic and single-use plastic in particular to create bioplastic cups.
One such innovation comes from International design firm Carlo Ratti Associati with their ‘’Feel and Peel’’ machine, an experimental circular juice bar that not only makes freshly squeezed orange juice, but also makes a filament with the leftover orange peels used by the machine to 3D print a recyclable bioplastic cup.
Designed in collaboration with global energy company Eni, the prototype juicer is 10 feet tall and topped with a massive dome, feeding the juicer with oranges on demand. The dome is made up of round tracks that holds up to 1,500 oranges. A 3D printer is installed in the base of the machine.
The machine works like magic. When an order is placed, the oranges slide down the tracks to a squeezer, the juice is then deposited into an ‘’orange peel’’ bioplastic cup, ready to enjoy.
Meanwhile, the freshly squeezed peels fall down a tube and accumulate at the bottom of the machine where they are dried, milled and mixed with Poly-lactic Acid (PLA), creating a bio plastic material. The bio plastic is then heated and melted into a filament and the built in 3D printer then creates recyclable bioplastic cups, ready to be filled with freshly squeezed juice.
How cool is that! It seems that Carlo Ratti Associati and Eni have plans to take Feel the Peel beyond just orange juice.
“The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” says Carlo Ratti, “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 Feel the Peel juice bar made its debut at an event in Rimini, Italy this summer, and will be installed at the Singularity University Summit in Milan on October 8 and 9, 2019.