Drink orange juice from a cup made from the peel to close the loop!

Posted on 16 June 2020.

Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati has designed an astonishing juice bar where freshly squeezed orange is served in a cup made from the peel.

The principle of circularity is a must for today's objects.

Does the idea of freshly squeezed orange juice served in a cup made from its peel tempt you? Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) in partnership with energy supplier Eni thought it would when they came up with the idea. Together they have developed a prototype juicer called "Feel the Peel", which makes bioplastic from orange peel and then 3D prints the cups used to serve the freshly squeezed juice.

Presented at the Ecomondo International Trade Fair for Materials and Energy in Rimini in November 2019, the machine integrates circular design into everyday life. By reusing 100% of the orange, it limits the use of plastic cups. “The principle of circularity is a must for today's objects," Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA, told the magazine Deezen. “Working with the energy supplier 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.”

How does it work in practice? The 3 m high experimental juice bar is topped by a dome filled with 1,500 oranges. When someone orders a juice, the fruit slides into the juicer where it is cut in half and squeezed. The peelings fall into a compartment where they are dried and crushed. The resulting powder is then mixed with polylactic acid - a biodegradable material - to form bioplastic filaments. After being melted, these filaments feed a 3D printer that produces the amazing recycled and recyclable cups.

The next step for Carlo Ratti is to add new features to his amazing machine and hopefully make fabric from orange zest.