A juice bar has been created in Italy that makes mugs from orange peels.
Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati has developed the first juice bar capable of making orange juice mugs from fruit waste. Processing peeled orange peels into bioplastic juice mugs using 3D printing is a prime example of the circular economy being applied in practice.
The Feel the Peel orange juice machine prototype was commissioned by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. The experimental fresh bar, 3.10 meters high, is a professional industrial-scale juicer, which is topped with a round dome with 1.5 thousand oranges in a circle.
When it's time to order juice, the oranges roll down the natural path from the top of the machine, cut in half and squeezed. The orange peel remaining from the preparation of fresh juice falls into the transparent compartment at the bottom of the machine. There it is crushed and dried, and then mixed with polylactic acid, resulting in a bioplastic material. Further, the resulting mass is heated and turned into a thread, which is fed into the 3D printer built into the machine.
The juice mug printing process remains open to observers thanks to the transparent panels. Used mugs can be recycled, but in theory they will be turned back into new recycled products in the same way.
According to studio founder Carlo Ratti, modern facilities should strive to support the principles of a zero-waste circular economy, which also includes the removal of waste and pollution from production and consumption, and the restoration of natural resources. Future versions of the Feel the Peel machine may add the ability to print fabric for orange peel garments.
Created by Studio Carlo Ratti, the juice bar will be presented at the Singularity University Summit in Milan and will then tour Italy, showcasing a new approach to the circular economy and environmental circulation in people's daily lives.